A mountain to climb

With just days to go before Jimmy and Joe start their climb, excitement and nerves are reaching new heights. Neither of us have been over 2,500 metres before so the challenge of trekking an average 6-8 hrs a day (for 8 days), battling the altitude (the summit is 5895m) in temperatures that could drop way below -15°C, and possibly succumbing to altitude sickness (oxygen levels will drop to less than 50%) – all this will take us far out of our comfort zone. It’s both a physical and a mental challenge especially on summit day (Wednesday 18th October for those who like to follow our progress) which involves a final 1300m climb starting at midnight and finishing 15 hours later for the journey back down. So a challenge indeed but at the same time its all part of our journey through grief – a journey that all bereaved parents and siblings will know about.

we have choices …

There is a difference though – none of us chose grief – none of us had any idea we’d be living out the remainder of our lives without one of our children, son, daughter sister or brother. In that sense our grief is ‘unintended’. But now we must make choices – we have no option but to make choices. This challenge that Jimmy and Joe take on is one such choice – an intentional choice. And from it we can learn how the choices we make as we make our way though grief can also be intentional. From this flows our ideas about being active, proactive and intentional as we grieve.

a creative grief …

We’ve come to understand that grief by its very nature is a creative process, one of making and doing things that would and could not have existed unless our son had died. This challenge that Jimmy and Joe are attempting would not be happening unless Josh had met his death on a highway in Vietnam in 2011. Our charity The Good Grief Project would not have come into being. And as a family we wouldn’t have found the rewards (and yes growth) that come with sharing our grief and helping others to find new ways of expressing theirs. All the things that you are so kindly supporting when you donate to this particular campaign. Thank you so much.


Every pound we raise helps us support bereaved parents & siblings on our Active Grief Programme , especially those on low incomes or who are socially disadvantaged.
Now here’s some images we’d like to share from our recent ACTIVE GRIEF WEEKEND held at a venue on Dartmoor (SW England) 22nd – 24th September

Active Grief Weekend (Sept 23) – breathworks on Dartmoor

Joe leads the physical activity workshop

Physical activity workshop – Ann Heydon is 89 and registered blind
“I cant tell you how much this weekend has helped me – I was dwelling far too much on what is left of my life – you’ve made me realise that there’s still some life left in me” 

Photography workshop – Fatima Marquez explores the two faces of grief
– the pain of longing …

….and the joy of remembering

Photography workshop – Niki Davies remembers her son Tom who died in 2021. (the tattoo on the left is the sound wave of his laughter)

Photography workshop – Kate Philp arranges some new found images of her daughter Ella who died in 2022

“I had not realised just how positive it would be to spend time with other people who just ‘get it’. After nearly 2 years of feeling hopeless and helpless since the death of our son, Tom, the weekend has helped me to be much more positive about the future”. Matt Davies

If you would like to contribute please donate here


Share this


Please support our ongoing work with The Good Grief Project.

Active Grief Retreats

Join us at our next active grief retreat and let us help you manage and express your grief in ways that are both active and true to you.

Recent Posts

“Grief is about doing…if you do stuff, you express stuff, that’s when you move forward in grief.”


We have developed a number of workshops, courses and weekend retreats all designed to help you to manage and express your grief in ways that are both active and true to you.

Our next retreats are

10th – 12th May (NOW FULLY BOOKED)

& 13th – 15th SEPTEMBER 2024

Blackadon Farm, 

Nr Ivybridge Dartmoor


When words are not enough

Our new book on creative responses to grief