Grief is an experience as universal as it is isolating. In a society where our rituals for dealing with grief have disappeared, how can we learn to support each other in times of loss? That’s the topic Emma Payne discusses with me in this episode of Leading with Health.

Emma is the founder of Grief Coach, which uses text messaging to help grieving people and their circle of family and friends find support together. Emma is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and award-winning change-agent. She built Grief Coach by combining her passion for mobile technology and engagement, along with her deep commitment to giving people the confidence and tools they need to support each other through grief.

Emma has generously offered Leading With Health listeners a discount on her full-year Grief Coach subscriptions. Visit and use the code LEADINGWITHHEALTH to get $30 off a full-year subscription. You’ll receive personalized text messages at least twice a week. And each subscription is for up to five people … usually that’s one griever and up to four friends & family who want to help, but may not be sure how.

An additional resource mentioned in this interview is Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving by Julia Samuel.

Highlights include:

5:30 – EP: “Everybody let me know that they wished they had reached out to me but they didn’t know what to say.”

7:47 – EP: “This isn’t about cheering someone up. This is not about finding a silver lining. Just be okay with the sadness, lean in with the pain and let them not feel so alone in their loss.”

13:25 – JM: “We have these expectations on our healthcare and medical professionals that they reach out and know how to connect. But how are they going to know how to do that when they are also part of this society that teaches them to run from it?”

14:15 – JM: “We’re always told it’s better to laugh than to cry – but it isn’t when what you need is to cry.”

19:00 – EP: “What we say to people is, no one taught you. There’s no class that you’ve taken that equipped you for this. So it’s okay that you don’t know, and we’ll help.”

23:15 – EP: “Where you live will determine how much loss you experience and how early.”

25:25 – EP: “If a person is not supported in their grief, the negative outcomes are well-documented, from health and depression to lost income.”

27:00 – EP: “Hospices are required to provide 13 months of bereavement support. So hospices hire bereavement coordinators and managers, who are then tasked with providing bereavement support to the next of kin.”

30:05 – EP: “The health outcomes for the surviving child are driven primarily by the help and support given to the suriving parent or family members.”

Leading with Health is hosted by Jennifer Michelle. Jennifer has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing. She is on a mission to help women find their voice so they can create a stronger, more responsive healthcare system.