Meet Our Coaches

The stories of the Grief Coaches at First Hour are born of personal experience,  We’ve been where you are right now, each of us just a little different from the next, but all of us bound together in this journey called Grief.

Regardless of your story, we know your loss is raw and real.  We get that.

That’s why we’ve assembled an incredibly compassionate group of Grief Coaches standing-by and ready to meet you where you are.

But we won’t know you’re there if you don’t let us know.

Please use our Contact Us form to ask for more information about grief counseling options or call (502) 791-9938. We now have two locations to serve you: 409 Marquette Drive (In Lyndon) and 3407 Ralph Avenue (Just off Cane Run Road). All meetings are by appointment only.

Carrie Murphy
Grief Coach

My grief journey began on July 9, 2006 when my husband died suddenly at home due to a pulmonary embolism. I was 38 and had 3 boys ages 8, 6, and 3. Needless to say, my boys and I had a tsunami hit us! We had to slowly learn a new beginning after a very traumatic event. I also lost my Dad in 2020 during the pandemic and my Mom to Alzheimer’s disease a year later. Navigating these significant losses has placed me on a mission to walk with others grieving.  I am also a passionate advocate for single parents and children who are going thru grief. Merging my past career in Human Resources with my own grief experiences and continued education has given me the tools to share with others while they are on their own grief journey. 

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”  

Renee Sartin
Grief Coach

My journey with grief actually began during the pandemic in August of 2020 when my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I thought I was going to lose him and I did everything I could to make him comfortable; to lessen his pain; to hold him just to be close to him in case that was his last day of life. And just when I thought my life could not be more complicated and distressed, my son was murdered on September 15, 2020 right around the corner from our house. Here I was learning to deal with my husband’s illness and trying to find ways to help him feel better and then we lost our son in the worst way… someone taking his life.  We were torn to pieces for many reasons and constantly trying to piece everything together in our minds. Fast forward almost 3 years later… my husband, Michael, is in remission and we live with our grief as a family, moving through the process. We celebrate my son’s life often but most importantly we are learning how to adjust without him. lt takes time. But we are getting there.

You don’t just lose someone once, you lose them every day, for a lifetime.

Diego Alcantar Muñoz
Grief Coach

My journey with Grief began in October of 2012 with the loss of my grandmother. About two years later, in December of 2014, my mother lost a short battle with liver cancer. When they passed away, I lost the core of my personal support system which consequently made life difficult for various reasons. Prior to their passing, I believed that grief was something that a person dealt with, got over, and moved on from. Since then, I have come to the realization that the grief associated with these and other losses is something that I will carry with me in some capacity for the rest of my life. With help, and by sharing my experience with other people, I have been able process my grief which in turn has made living with these losses more manageable.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Abbie Gibitz
Grief Coach/Intern
Infant Loss Group Facilitator

My grief journey began October 8, 2020 with the miscarriage of our fourth child, Jonah “Huckleberry.” Though we never got to say hello, that didn’t make his life any less important or meaningful. In grieving his life, I learned to find beauty even in the hard times (especially in nature), lean on friends and family, and be comforted by God’s loving kindness. 

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the broken hearted, He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Shenica McCrary
Grief Coach

I started my journey with First Hour Grief Response as a student at Campbellsville University. My professor introduced me to this loving place in class when she and her nephew came as guest speakers. They spoke on the loss of their family members in which I had a melt down because I had recently lost my nephew to gun violence. She then informed me that this would be a loving place to do my practicum. I chose to be a part of this amazing team because death is something that I had issues with. I also got tired of hearing people tell others to move on with your life. I had to explain to people that you cannot put a timeline on grieving. One day I had a talk with my Bishop, I told her that I find myself crying sometimes and do not know the reason. Her response was we all have a purpose and that the reason I was crying was that I felt other peoples pain. I accepted that and I know that First Hour Grief is the place where I am supposed to be. The Lord our God placed us here to be here for one another especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. I look forward to having the opportunity to be here to help others live in this world knowing that they are not alone and that they have a place and people who are all in the same boat.

Ashley Jaha
Grief Coach

In November 2013, my husband and I experienced our first of four miscarriages. Over the years, we faced more losses and tried various fertility treatments without success. Finally, in 2019, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Two years later, we were filled with joy as we anticipated the arrival of our baby boy. However, on March 18, 2022, our happiness shattered. I woke up to no signs of movement or a heartbeat. We rushed to the hospital in panic. When my husband joined me, the doctor confirmed our worst fear—the baby had no heartbeat. Our world came crashing down.

After going through the hospital procedures and the funeral, we felt lost and unsure of how to cope. That’s when we discovered First Hour Grief through our research. This organization provided us with a glimmer of hope and guidance during our darkest times. Although my grief journey is ongoing and may never truly end, I am learning to live with it and make use of the tools and support I have received. Now, I have a newfound passion for helping others who are going through similar experiences.

“I have cried so much this year that I’ve almost drowned. So, when you see me smile don’t think I’m no longer in the water, understand that my joy is my lifejacket.” -unknown

Caroline Dawkins
Grief Coach

My grief journey began when two cousins were killed by a drunk driver in 1988. Then in 2007 my husband died suddenly of a heart attack. I had three young children, and had to navigate their grief while trying to come to terms with my own. I found myself reading up on everything I could, as well as searching for someone to talk to. This taught me so much about grief, and the journey. Also how others don’t understand it if they haven’t been through it. I have counseled many people since that time, and really feel there is a need for grief mentoring.