The grief journey is travelled along a road filled with surprises: both good and bad, helpful and not so helpful. Are you prepared to deal with the unexpected? Just as you would on any other journey you are about to undertake, you need to pack an emergency toolkit. What should you have in your toolkit? Because everyone’s grief is unique, their toolkits will also be just their own. But here are some guidelines for what to pack:

A safe place—this could be an actual place where you find comfort, like curled up on your couch wrapped in an article of your lost loved one’s clothing or it could be the friend you can run to, who will listen without judging.

Snacks—well maybe not really food, but what nourishes you. For some this is a meaningful book or a piece of music. For some, this might be some comfort food, maybe eat something that was the your lost loved one’s favorite.

Water—It’s the summer so definitely stay hydrated. But for your toolkit, what is it that brings you back from feeling parched? For some it is helping someone else to help add meaning to your moment. For others it is activity, exercise or a project.

Think about what helps you when you hit a bump in the road. Make your own personal list of what should go in your toolkit. And then remember to use it.