Grief Coach delivers specialized text-based support for young widows & widowers. On Valentine's Day, and all year long

Katie Hawkins-Gaar and Jarie Bolander, have spent the last 3 years talking about their grief. Katie lost her husband, Jamie, when he was just 32. Jarie's wife, Jane, was only 36 when she died. Now Grief Coach subscribers can benefit from their hard-won wisdom, receiving regular text messages about the extra complexities and challenges young widows and widowers have to wrestle with, as they grieve.

For Katie and Jarie, losing a young partner meant also losing the futures they had planned together. Katie and Jarie were both trying to start families, when their partners died. They found themselves alone in quiet houses, instead of juggling the pitter patter of little feet they'd been hoping for.

They also both learned that returning to dating can be a quagmire, when you lose your partner so young. From the well-intentioned aunt who tells you "don't worry, you'll find someone new," to the friends who tell you it's "too soon to date," everyone has an opinion. And of course you have to manage your own fears about opening your heart again, knowing how painful it can be, when love is taken away.

On the eve of Valentine's Day, I'm honored to announce that Grief Coach has a new series of text messages for young widows and widowers, with messages authored and inspired by Katie and Jarie. I love knowing that, in addition to the year-long messages we send to widows and widowers of all ages, we now have specialized messages for our younger subscribers. We also text tips and suggestions to the courageous friends and family who want to help, but may not be sure how.

Here are just a few of the text messages we'll be sending this week.

Hi Mary. Don't judge Marcus if he decides to start dating. Be supportive and encouraging. It's hard enough to get the courage to try and find love again.

David may be feeling confused and angry since Janie died. He may even think that he failed to protect her from dying. Be supportive and not judgmental.

Hi, Joanna. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Olivia might be experiencing feelings of anger or jealousy. She might ask questions like, “Why does everyone else get to be with their partner, when Richard is gone?” The best thing you can do is listen, and remind Olivia that these feelings are normal, and they will pass.

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