Grief Work

7 Questions About Grief Work

Here are the most requested questions about grief and grief work

Why are you doing this?

In the word of The Blues Brothers: “I’m on a mission from God.” I say that jokingly, but only a little. I believe we are all on a mission from God, by virtue of the fact we are on this planet. Some of us have learned what that mission is. 

You’re probably familiar with the term Near-Death Experience. NDErs often come back with a renewed sense of purpose. Some even learn what their particular reasons for being here are. You might now have heard of Spiritually Transformative Experiences. Spiritually Transformative Experiences can be something as miraculous as seeing an angel; as tragic as the passing of a loved one; or as subtle as a vivid dream that speaks to you. My spiritually transformative experience was the passing of my daughter Shayna in 2015 that solidified the path I knew I had to be on.

I was fortunate that when Shayna passed I had developed a healthy view of death. That mitigated the impact of her passing. It was still not easy. It still isn’t easy. But, I want to share my perspective to help others. Not long after Shayna passed I found Helping Parents Heal.  I volunteer with Helping Parents Heal and have worked with hundreds of parents over the years. I want to offer that to as many people as I can.

Why do I need to go to anyone? Can’t I just get over it?

Typically, yes- kind of. Grief is a natural thing we all go through at some point. We don’t get “over it.” We learn to live with it.

If you want someone to partner you through your grief, I can provide a listening ear and my experience of what worked and did not work for me. I can also share the perspective that has worked for me.

We are social beings and often need to process things in groups. A good friend, a spouse can all be helpful. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to talk to someone who has been through the same thing. Speaking with a neutral third party can be helpful as well. You can’t freely share everything with the people in your inner circle who know each other.

When you come to me, you can feel comfortable having a conversation totally dedicated to you, unlike conversations with friends which go both ways. It’s all about you.

Will I have to believe in what you believe?

I’m not here to push any religion on anyone. My background is in engineering. I am as skeptical as anyone. I’m not even here to push spirituality on anyone.

Spiritual is a word we often use to describe what science does not understand yet. I think anything we call supernatural is simply what we don’t (yet) have a materialistic explanation for. Radio waves would have been considered supernatural 200 years ago if anyone had tried to explain to you there were these invisible things that travel for millions of miles, can penetrate walls, and could carry your voice from one end of the Earth to another in an instant.

I will not ask you to believe anything. I will share with you what I have discovered through years of study and examination of the evidence. My worldview is not based on wishful thinking, on any particular scripture, or on the teachings of any religion. It is based on evidence, data, and study of the most current offerings from science and human experience.

If I allow myself to grieve, will I get lost in it?

Just a couple of days ago I was watching a television show and the main character expressed this exact concern, that if he allowed himself time to grieve, he would never come out of it. When his wife died, he doubled down on his work and tried to avoid his grief. This is a common reaction. I did this when my grandmother passed.

 What I have come to realize. You will grieve one way or the other. You will grieve sooner or later. You can face your grief now or try to stuff it and have it come up possibly in unhealthy ways later.

If I "get better" is that dishonoring the person who’s left?

I had this fear after Shayna passed. I thought the deeper the love, the deeper the mourning. What would show my love more than being miserable for the remainder of my time on Earth?  I can assure you that is not what was meant for your life or how your loved ones want you to live. They want us to go forward with our lives. We honor them by being the best person we can be.

I feel exhausted and drained every day. How can I feel like myself again?

Slowly, one step at a time. Grief isn’t easy. It’s painful. It’s exhausting. But, it’s manageable.

I will give you this caution. Depending on the type of loss you have suffered, you may never be the same person again. That is OK. You’re not meant to be. In time, you can become even stronger than you were before. You can become You V 2.0.

I don’t know how to live my life without my son, daughter, other person in it.

We all feel this way at some point. It’s OK to feel this way. We become addicted to the physical presence of those closest to us in our lives. We can learn to cope with the lack of their physical presence and learn new ways to incorporate them into our lives. 

They are never truly gone. We can work together to help you know and feel that.

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Are you ready to work with your grief?

I know it’s hard to get started, even to envision what working with someone would be like.

I offer a complimentary session. In that session, I will ask you where you are on your journey, where you want to be, and if you're ready to take the necessary action to get there.

If we both agree, we will then schedule a second session where we'll go into more detail, and I will present you a customized plan, a GPS roadmap if you will, of how we can help you make the necessary changes. This session is also free of charge.


Session 1: Getting to Know Each Other
  • Getting to know you.
  • Hearing your story.
  • Introducing myself to you and how I can help.
  • What issues are you having?
Session 2: Addressing Your Issues
  • What is it you want to accomplish?
  • Where are you now?
  • I present your personal GPS roadmap

Schedule Your Assessment Session

This is a fifteen to thirty-minute session. There is no charge and no obligation.

If I can help you, I will offer a second complimentary session to present your plan.


From the first time I met Brian, I felt like I knew him forever.  I had been reading his blogs for a year and I was extremely touched by his honesty, straightforwardness, and love.  It is rare to witness a man that is willing to share his personal feelings with others in such a public format.

Since then, I have come to know Brian very well.  He has been one of the largest factors in my ability to walk the grief journey after my son, Aymen, passed.

Brian is not only a mentor, but he also has the aptitude to be a wonderful listener, advisor and has a great deal of emotional intelligence.  He is easy to talk to and is not afraid to tell me what I need to hear.

He has volunteered in many venues to counsel, support and guide others.  I would recommend Brian not only for adults and young adults but I would highly recommend Brian as a Life Coach for children.

Brian’s abilities have helped me to grow spiritually, believe in myself and he has guided me to understand my purpose in life.   He has given me very sound advice along with tools that greatly help me and inspire me. He has earned my respect and admiration.

Brian’s perspective on things has been a true blessing for me.

Tracy Soussi


In the twenty plus years I have known Brian, we have had many hours of debate, discussion, and supportive dialogue. Sometimes passionate, interesting and of the wall, but always thoughtful and respectful. Brian is a true friend and brother, whose insights and approaches have helped me grow as a person, as a man, and as a father. He has an exceptional blend of intuition with a scientific approach in helping to approach life problems and advice. He does so while ensuring compassion is kept in mind, especially when having difficult conversations. I would highly recommend Brian as a life coach.

Kevin Min


Brian is a kind, compassionate, and passionate soul. He’s the real deal and if he’s committed to something he is all in. He is always willing to listen to different viewpoints and knowing him has helped me to reaffirm that tendency in myself.

Mike Welsh


’ve known Brian for over ten years now. I worked with Brian on a local new church plant several years ago and it was there that I witnessed his heart for compassion and social justice. Since then I have followed his blogs and other writings that speak to a higher consciousness and the various forms of human connection. He has done the work and his depth of knowledge makes him more than qualified to walk alongside others and guide them in their life journey.

Deb Wiggins


Back in 2011, I left my farmhouse after having caught my then-husband cheating on me. He had been emotionally abusive for quite some time but the cheating was still a bad shock. I joined Facebook and one of the first people I met was. Brian.

I was a conservative Republican at the time, heavily dependent on my spouse’s opinions, not unlike my mother and other spouses before me. Brian’s opinions and posts intrigued me and yes irked me. But they forced me to think. That was the important part. They made me uncomfortable and I knew instinctively that this was a good thing.

In the eight years since I have known Brian, I have come a very long way, both in healing from my wounds from the relationship and also in my political and world views. Yes, I already was very open-minded as far as religious, spiritual and racial views are concerned but my I have learned positive discourse, constructive criticism and how to listen. Although Brian is very busy, in the times I have need counsel most he is there.

MaryLou S.

jennifer jaki johnson

Brian spoke to me about two months after my 15-year-old son had passed. He reassured me that our kids leave us signs and that they are always with us. He spoke about his beautiful daughter and her awesome spirit. He made me feel like grief was okay and that the process is something you must allow yourself to go through in order to grow. His energy for life and honoring grief is truly authentic.

If you are grieving and need to figure out how to grow from it, stay connected to your loved one, or just need a grief partner to listen to your thoughts, he is the guy!

Thanks Brian for everything!

Jennifer "Jaki" Johnson


Brian Smith is a talented and compassionate person that went through one of the hardest things that can happen to a parent, losing a child. I met him during the darkest days or my soul after I lost my only child. Brian, his wife and a couple of other parents administer an online group dedicated to helping grieving parents. Brian is always there for anybody that needs some advice on how to navigate through this hard journey. His knowledge of spirituality and  science is impressive. I know that his devotion, and compassion is going to help so many others find their true path.  Thank you Brian for the  wonderful work that you do, and for being such a bright light for so many of us.  

Paola Leslie

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