Grief Work Training


This 16-hour, self-paced course is open to all.

Mental health providers, birth & death doulas, hospice and hospital chaplains, as well as religious/spiritual leaders are particularly welcome.


As an End of Life Storyteller, I wanted to better understand the nature of grief and how it impacts my life and the lives of the families I support. Amy’s Grief Work Training gave me a beautiful foundation to draw from, exploring the ebbs and flows of grief as it expands and contracts. I gained invaluable tools to help accompany people on their individual grief journeys.

~Megan Sheldon, Celebrant & Storyteller at Be Ceremonial


This course exceeded all expectations that I had. I am (gently) shocked by the ways that I felt, almost instantly, my perspectives shift as a result of the ways in which Amy curated and led us through content. These shifts have positively affected my work and my personal life. I particularly appreciated the way that Amy integrated academic research, clear knowledge and awareness about the connections between many fields, and her personal anecdotes into the modules. What she presented felt personal and credible.

~ Jessica Wahlstrom (MPH, CCA) has worked with a number of non-profit and global health agencies.
She currently works and writes in New York


How can you serve your community, care for self, & nourish your family? How can you navigate grief?

We can acknowledge both the reality of this tremendous sorrow and acknowledge the good that comes when grief-phobic cultures pays heed to the powerful, normative, and often-maligned energies/emotions of grief. Grief is inherent in life ~ and with the pandemic, we are (finally) talking about it more openly.

This self-paced course is open to all

Because we are human, we know birth, breath, and death. Whether we show up in this world as a doula, teacher, parent, activist, caregiver, or are involved in the corporate realm ~ we encounter grief.

Because we love, we grieve.

Participants in this self-guided study will deeply explore, examine, and encounter six dimensions to grief work drawing upon recent scholarship regarding the physiology of loss and bereavement as well as insights drawn from the world’s wisdom traditions. Participants will make personal connections to the material drawing upon their own experience of grief. Particular attention will be placed on exploring how grief shows up ~ and is profoundly impacted ~ by the intersection of one’s identity within society. An exploration of climate justice and grief in relation to climate change concludes the course.

Participants in the self-guided study also benefit from the optional viewing of an hour long conversation between Amy Wright Glenn and Joanne Cacciatore, PhD.

Required reading from these two texts are a part of the training:

Bearing the Unbearable ~ Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief ~ by Joanne Cacciatore

Holding Space ~ on Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn






Upon the successful completion of this 16-hour self-guided training, participants will be more deeply and confidently able to address these six dimensions of grief within their personal and professional circles of influence:

Emotional ~ What does grief do to our emotional world? How does grief connect to anger, denial, hope, gratitude, and love? Do we feel safe expressing our grief? To whom?

Spiritual ~ How does grief connect to an understanding of mystery, the spirit, God? What role does grief play in religious or spiritual ritual? How does grief connect to our understanding of death?

Physical ~ What impact does grief have on the body? How does our physiology express grief? What happens to our body when grief is repressed? What can we learn about the four F’s (fight, flight, fear, and fawn) in relationship to grief?

Mental ~ What happens to our memories when they are colored by grief? How does grief impact our capacity and willingness to explore our mental health? How does grief impact our cognition ~ especially when we are in hyper or hypo aroused states of awareness?

Social ~ What were the messages of grief that we learned from our family/community through childhood? What message about grief do we adopt from our larger culture?  How does the intersectionality of our identities impact the way our society receives, frames, or ignores our grief? In what way do animals experience and/or share our grief? What rituals connect us to the grief of others?

Environmental ~ How does grief intersect with climate change? In what ways do the profound shifts on our planet today with regard to species extinction and the questions of climate justice connect to personal and collective trauma/grief? How can we hold space for grief that arises due to an existential threat to the systems of life upon which we depend?


Certificates of Completion issued by the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death are offered for all who complete the training/workshop.

Participants have lifelong access to the course with the option of completing the training requirements at any time. Once purchased, participants have life-long access to course materials ~ as long as they are available in this format. 


“Our grief is a holy thing. It is that proof that another life touched ours in a profound way. It is the mark of love, the mark of connection, and the mark of a life well lived.”
~Tracie Barrett-Welser



Amy’s Grief Work Training is such a balm. As a griever and one who holds space with grievers, this training offered the container to be authentic, to be in community and to go deep into 6 dimensions of grief. The use of Cacciatore’s book, Bearing the Unbearable was a powerful support in moving through the dimensions of grief each week. I highly recommend this study with Amy and the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death.

~Jess Kilbourn, Instructor and MLS in Women’s and Gender Studies, Licensed Massage Therapist and Bodyworker, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified End-of-Life Doula, Instructor for The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death and The Dying Year.

This is a valuable course for anyone who moves in the realms of grief in any way. I found it helpful to break grief down into the six categories to really examine its effects in all areas of life. As someone who has both experienced grief, and works with the dying and the bereaved, finding the jewel in the mountain of rocks can really help people to accept what has happened and allow them to shift to a place where they can start to heal.
~Loretta Dunn, Independent Life Celebrant.

Amy describes and weaves together beautifully the many interconnected aspects of grief. She provides thoughtful and compassionate guidance on how to understand, hold and work through the difficult and wild process of grieving, by creating space and awareness through meditation, the breath, and writing exercises. It was so wonderful for me to come across another teacher that integrates meditative practices to this work. This course and the assigned books also provided some great content for a grief series I recently co-taught with another end of life doula. Thanks Amy! 
~Anthea Grimason, doula at Life, Death, Breath