In February 2008 I was busy living my version of the American dream when *BAM* it all changed in an instant. My daughter Peyton died followed by the almost immediate disintegration of my 10-year marriage.  The next few years were filled with multiple moves, shattered friendships, business loss and ultimately bankruptcy. Just a year after my daughter died, my Father died unexpectedly. And those are just the highlights…

I found there to be little support, a whole lot of misinformation and endless ignorance by well meaning, yet clueless, friends, family, co-workers and clergy. Each loss is unique and individual, yet we, as a society, want people to fit neatly into stages and timelines. Tears and silence make us comfortable and sadly, when people most need support and a heart with ears, they are often met with judgment, empty platitudes and grief shaming.

I found this to be heartbreaking and completely unacceptable so I vowed to use my experiences to help as many people as possible navigate life after a death, divorce or significant loss as well as educate and empower those around them.  There is also a great deal of personal healing in using my experience and sharing my story to help others. While the events were tragic, the real tragedy, for me, would be not using them for good.

So I took a leap… I left my lucrative corporate job with a generous 401k and paid insurance benefits to become a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Certified Grief and Loss Coach to help folks navigate life after loss. Because money and time is the biggest blocker to people getting support and help, I created The Phoenix Project an entirely online 8-week Workshop that is both cost efficient and convenient. I never want money or access to stand in the way of someone getting help on their grief journey.

So, that’s my story… And you know what? Apart from losing the honor of watching my daughter grow up, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one darn thing.

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Learn more about Claire McCarthy
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