Joan Hitchens, Navigating Grief founder and coach

Joan Hitchens, Life Energy Coach

Thank you for joining me here. Navigating Grief through terminal illness and/or death is a profound and personal journey. Perhaps it will help you to know that most reactions to loss and grief reactions are “normal” even if you don’t feel like it at this moment. Finding the right support relative to your loss feelings today is what counts. Whether by phone, online or in person, I’m here to guide you through the process based on my own experiences, education and gathering of story from the hearts of others just like you. And I never forget that the lesson is always love.

Read about Joan…

UPDATE March 2020.
The Coronanvirus-19 pandemic has created great anxiety and brought new fear into our lives and for our livelihoods. Navigating Grief had already started development, expansion and transition for live grief programs and additional coaching online. Thus, new material is going into the new location. Until then, you’ll find plenty here if you choose. The new website and host will provide better delivery of content to guide and coach you in your grief journey.
I am still available. Please use the contact me form to connect or call 360.534.0203.
Grief, trauma and reactions to significant loss is a long process rather than single event. The unthinkable and violent deaths in our schools, communities and neighborhoods are life changing personally, socially and culturally. These losses create fear in everyday living. Finding a way back into one’s heart and safely is both time and action. This may be in baby steps of movement and in weeks, months and perhaps years to come.
If you arrive here looking for answers, welcome to the club! I cannot offer a single article or thought to make it all better. I do make a suggestion to reach out and do your best to identify and ask for what you need in this moment. For current community tragedy, your local schools, health and hospice agencies and religious organizations will provide the most immediate resources.
As you move into the deeper layers of grief and its impact on your ongoing life therapists, coaches, mental health professionals and groups may offer better support for your circumstances. You do not need to walk this path alone. You matter; I care. If you would like my guidance for individual coaching, family conversation and support, or in community circle please call me at 360.534.0203.

“Dear Joan, Thank you for all that you do. You have a way of giving people joy by helping them through the healing process.”

~ Melanie H

“My work with Joan Hitchens has been and continues to be a blessing. Her coaching has brought me insights in a safe way to explore my own sacred space. Joan pushes me gently where I am able to follow my own thoughts, shake off my fears and have the most incredible “aha” moments. I am rejuvenated.”

~ Juliette S

“Thanks for providing a safe place/space for us to gather, grieve and heal.”

~ Annie H

“Thank you so much for guiding me through this writing process… Jen’s story is special and through your help it will be treasured for years. (It) can be revisited by anyone at anytime, and we need not forget our precious child.”

~ Melissa S

“Anticipation of pain kept me paralyzed but actually looking it dead in the eye has made it less scary and therefore less powerful. I had a tiny little glimmer of light, an insight that helped. I am allowing myself to experience all of the emotions.”

~Brenda D.

“Coaching with Joan was key in helping me get out of overwhelm and set my priorities straight. She is both encouraging and insightful and I always came out of the coaching calls with greater clarity… I moved through some tough spots much faster than I could have on my own.”

~ Anna L

“As Marketing Director at Garden Courte Memory Care Community, I’m always looking for ways to help people overcome their fears of coming into a memory care center. Your presentation on Caregiver’s Grief did! We had higher than expected attendance and great feedback from attendees.”

~Dawn PetersenGarden Courte Memory Care Community

“I just sent a copy of Mother’s storybook to her best friend… and received a tearful message back thanking me.”

~ Dee T

“…an emotional journey but rewarding. I have discovered some important things along the way that I wouldn’t have without this opportunity.”

~ Cathie A

“Dear Joan, Thank you so much for this incredible gift! When I discovered your website, it was like discovering gold…it opened new doors to new rooms filled with possibility and potential. Thank you for a simple “GPS system;” which will help me and others navigate through grief.”

~ Juanita M

“Your compassion and openness made me feel quite comfortable in sharing my experience and your insightful feedback was enormously helpful. You are providing a magnificent/needed/hard-to-come-by service to the grieving community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

~ Carolyn S

“Joan had recently mentioned open hours at her beautiful recovery space on State Street. As I finished my work day on Friday and as I was on my way to a family members house for dinner, I had another “moment” and I drove over to see Joan.  I cried and swore and she listened. She said a few healing thoughts. She didn’t rush me…  She was there with an open heart and I was able to go to dinner feeling more confident that I wasn’t going to spill over during dinner.  Joan, thank you!  Your peaceful and calming manner was both soothing and lifting. ”

~ Linda T

Recent Articles

  • The Photo Story. Revisited05/08/2020 - 7:27 am

    Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10.    Photo memories are so important in our healing processes. This one popped up in my Facebook feed last week. My mother died in February 2015. This photo was taken three years later after her husband died, my step-father, and I was visiting for the service and the subsequent […]

  • A Note on CoV-19 and Grief04/26/2020 - 6:52 am

    A note on Covid-19 from Joan Hitchens, Navigating Grief. Grief, the response to loss, arises with a threat – a fear. In bereavement, the period after a death, it shows up most usually as intense sadness and emptiness. It is profound pain of sorrow, of missing. At death, the threat has been realized in the […]

  • grief journal reviewWhy I Keep a Grief Journal04/23/2020 - 7:15 am

    April 23, 2020 New Moon in Taurus Eight years later, for me. Here we all are – isolated together in a mist of Coronavirus 19. Since December, I have been in a sweeping reconstruction for how I offer my grief and energy coaching practices. All I understand is being gathered into a new format – […]

  • Nine Years and a Day After Thanksgiving11/29/2019 - 8:11 pm

    Ah-Musing Starts Here Nine years ago, I penned my first personal journal entry that was published as Grief Reflection and evolved into Navigating Grief. It was titled Thanksgiving Morning. The words arose from my pain and heart and gathering of story as I faced the diagnostic reality of my husband Dave’s terminal cancer. One of […]

  • grief breakdownGrief Breaks Down03/30/2018 - 10:24 pm

    “I thought,” she said passionately. “‘Mother f%*kr, I can’t even kill myself because my life insurance lapsed!’” Then we burst into laughter. It was after one of those breaking points. We were talking about an incident of the week prior. We were on the phone, she lives hundreds of miles away from me, when she announced that her […]

To start

Your Journey…

Grief is universal; loss is personal and individual. There are three steps for Navigating Grief: Discover. Create. Share.


Listen to your grief.

A journey of healing is all about what you DISCOVER and then what you do about it! Navigating Grief provides the tools for you to travel your own path at your own pace.

Start to Discover >>


Do things about grief.

CREATE is the action of “so what” are your going to do? From writing for insight to memory projects, you can bring your loved one with you when Navigating Grief.

Start to Create >>


Give voice to grief.

As you SHARE about grief and life you validate how you and your loved one both make a difference in this world. Navigating Grief has the avenues to get your there.

Start to Share >>

Navigatnig Grief Community
Navigating Grief Discover
Navigating Grief Create
Navigating Grief Share
© Copyright - Navigating Grief 2012 - 2020 Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Navigating Grief is an educational and informational website not meant to diagnose or act as medical treatment. Professional support services based on life and grief coaching practices for moving forward after loss may be offered. If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).