All of us have experienced grief to some degree. Grieving is complex and looks different for everyone. However, there are people in this world who can make grieving a little easier and help with the new reality that comes from it. Jennifer Black made the bold decision to be one of these people. Keep reading to find out how she has made it her mission to help those who find themselves battling grief!
Did you know you always wanted to be a grief coach? If not, what did you want to do before making that decision?
I definitely had zero plans on becoming a grief coach. I actually love senior citizens and wanted to build an upscale nursing home (something similar to a college campus).
Once you made this decision, what goals did you set for yourself to reach where you are now?
A few of my goals included collaborating with other grief coaches to get the word out that we do exist and understanding the difference between grief coaches and therapists; as well as providing a safe space for people to talk about grief.
What was the turning point that made you pursue working with those battling grief?
Dealing with my own painful grief and in return God assigning me to those having a hard time moving forward in their grief.
What has been the most rewarding part about helping individuals and families dealing with grief?
Being there for families during one of the worst times of their lives; relieving some of the pressure that comes along with handling their affairs after loss and hearing how grateful they are for our services. Priceless!
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, what exactly is a grief concierge?
A bereavement concierge helps families before and after loss of a loved one. We help families get their affairs in order so when someone passes away, they’ll be financially prepared.
Tell us about 1st24 Bereavement and why you started it.
1st 24 was birthed as a result of experiencing multiple losses in a short period of time. I have a big family and they called on me to help with different arrangements. I had no idea what I was doing, by the way, but I wanted to help in any way I could. After the 2nd death in the family that year, God told me I would be the relief for families dealing with loss to ensure they’re properly taken care and not taken advantage of. God assigned me to be their advocate.
What’s something you learned about grief from your own personal experience(s)?
It’s ok to not be ok and that it’s never too soon to get your affairs in order.
You are also an author. Why was it important for you to write and create books for the population you serve?
Grief is a part of life and we all deal/dealt with it in some capacity. I knew there was a serious need and I wanted to create products and services to support people who are really struggling with their grief.
What advice would you give to other mental health professionals who want to make grief their niche?
Go for it! There are so many people depressed, isolated and on the verge of suicide because of grief and they need help to getting out of that low state. Don’t over think it or doubt your ability especially if God has given you the green light!
Sometimes people can be hesitant to seek professional help. What is a sign that someone may need a grief coach or counseling following a significant loss? ?
Staying “busy” to escape feelings.
Grief is a very personal journey. What are some words of encouragement that you can share with those who are currently working through grieving right now?
Be patient with yourself as you continue to travel on the journey; grief is tailor-made to each individual so it won’t look like anyone else’s. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like for people to know about you, your brand, and the work you do?
I absolutely love what I do and have a passion to help those dealing with grief . I have a FB Community called “Live for Today” for people who are having a hard time with grief.
It is very easy to feel isolated during significant loss. Through her company 1st24 Bereavement and social media platforms, Jennifer Black brings normalcy to grief. Jennifer used her own grief to bring light to the lives of others and to remind them they are not alone. To find Jennifer or to receive more information about her brand and bereavement services, follow her Instagram @jenniferdblack or @1st24bereavement.