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Walk with Grief

AUTHOR: Jackie Naginey Hook

 PHONE: 814-404-0546

AGENCY: Koch Funeral Home


I’ve become keenly aware of the dual process model of grief lately. This model involves oscillation between loss-oriented and restoration-oriented responses to grief. Sometimes a griever feels the loss, cries, and thinks about their loved one. Other times, this same griever works at making their life good again by taking on new tasks and engaging with the present moment.


Since my dad died on March 12, 2024, I’ve been feeling this oscillation. At times, I see my dad’s smile, hear him call me “sweetheart,” think of a time we shared together, and cry as I remember that feeling of love and safety he gave me. And then in another moment, I watch people living their lives, facilitate a grief education and support group, walk outside, or sing along to a song and feel good. I engage with whichever response shows up for me.


Megan Devine wrote a book about grief entitled It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand. The message of this book has helped many people allow themselves to grieve.


On the other side of the coin, Emilie Lancour wrote a book entitled It’s Okay to be Okay: Finding Joy through Grief. I haven’t read this book, but its title encourages people to the release guilt they might experience when they feel okay at times following a loss.


There is no right or wrong way to grieve, only your way. Grief is as unique as our fingerprints. Part of my work with Koch Funeral Home is about creating safe spaces where mourners can be okay, and can also be not okay.


One such space is our Walk with Grief in partnership with Centre Region Parks and Recreation. If you have lost a loved one, whether you’re feeling okay or not okay, these walks are a time to come together, share pieces of your story, know you’re not alone, be present to the many healing aspects of nature, and walk at a leisurely p



These walks are also a time to learn from nature. Nature shows us examples of life and death every day. This is part of its beauty. A dead worm next to a blooming daffodil. A robin picking up a dead twig for its nest for new life. Nature shows us that the circle of life continues and there is healing in that reminder as well.


These sessions will be held on Wednesdays in April from noon to 1 p.m. at various CRPR parks. For more information, please visit the Bereavement Gatherings and Events page of the Koch Funeral Home website, Join us as you oscillate on your grief journey.


Jackie Naginey Hook, MA, is a spiritual director, celebrant, and end-of-life doula. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College.  For more information, please call 814-237-2712 or visit


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