The famous yogi saying “let go of what no longer serves you” was a mindset my heart could not comprehend, let alone understand, until a level of healing had happened in my grief journey. The day I was able to understand this mindset was the day I looked around my house and realized I was ready to let go of my heavy laden grieving. It simply no longer served me.

My grieving heart had been shattered into a million pieces and scattered throughout my home – on the bed, beside the bed, the floors, the stairs, the shower floor, the closet, the entryway, kitchen table, my car…it was everywhere.

That was okay. I grieved the way I needed to grieve. Now though, I was at a place where I was ready to start exploring “the new Kelly” and slowly build my “chapter two” life. Problem was, that heavy laden grieving was pretty palpable throughout the space in my home and emanated a creative block. Upon looking at a space where I’d want to try dancing again or writing, I’d instantly remember the last time I shed tears or violently screamed and cried on that floor, the bed, the table, etc.

I was ready to let it all go but it just wasn’t happening. I felt stuck and as if that space had power over me. Perhaps I wasn’t ready afterall.

It was time to do some brainstorming and figure out what to do. I always did my best thinking on foot so I put on my hiking shoes and headed for the public forest path behind my house.

Grief Takes a Hike

Minutes into hiking the fern-lined trails I unexpectedly found my answer. I immediately began thinking about that heavy laden energy. It was almost as if it was trapped in the space I had grieved. As if I had imprinted my grief onto the bed, the floor, the stairs, etc., and just the thought of its confinement caused me to take a very forceful exhale.

Through that exhale, I could feel that energy leaving my body. I inhaled and exhaled again and experienced the same thing. It felt incredible to say the least. As each exhalation occurred, I became astronomically emotional. The grief was just pouring out through my breath.

Then some unintentional visualization began. As I walked further into the forest green, I imagined the grief in my home being expelled through my exhales and out into the open air, captured by mother earth and then whisked away to some far off place.

That heavy laden feeling was lighter. I reveled in it.

Next came the “ah-ha” moment. I stopped in my steps and realized that heavy grief was not stuck in my home, it was stuck within me. It was a moment of intense clarity.

As I returned home, I took off my shoes, let out my hair and took another look around. The space felt different in the best way. I was mind-blown.

Each day thereafter, I made an effort to go hiking on what became known as my trail of grief. It was my little section of earth that served as a new space to outlet and release my grief.

Everyone grieves in their own way and heals in their own way. For me, I needed to take my grief outside where there were no walls to hold it in. Step by step it literally brought me closer to finding and building the new me.

Are you at a similar point in your grief journey and wondering if this might work for you? Give it a try! Grab your hiking shoes and look for an outdoor path that speaks to you. Just make sure it is in a safe place.


My widow journey began in 2011 when I was 27. My late husband passed away from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. My re-entry into life has been difficult, but my relationship with God, being diagnosed with PTSD and my passion for music, dance and science have greatly helped me get back on my feet. I am currently preparing for graduate school and volunteer as an endometriosis educator for the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

I have so much that I look forward to sharing with you and I hope that you may find something in my writing that will bring hope to your own journey, help you through the tough days, and show you that happiness can be found in the midst of grief.

You can follow me on Instagram at @kellcann