Booking speaking engagements now

Creating a demo reel and should have my TEDx video in February. I sorely need video and that will be a focus in 2019.

Negotiating contracts now for spring and fall and if you know of an event looking for a speaker, do keep me in mind. See the speakers page for more info.

Karla Helbert, MS, LPC and I will be doing a Coping Strategies for Grief workshop at Ellwood Thompson locally in Richmond, VA in late February. Date to be announced soon. Checking on room availability and we will announce here and on our facebook pages.

And … Read more...

Grief, the holidays and the workplace – there is help

by Tamara Rollison

Certain holidays and life events can offer challenges to those of us who have experienced the loss of loved one or co-worker.  While occasions like Christmas or a wedding time is supposed to be happy and festive, the bereaved feel anything but that.  We are a special group of people who manage to get up in the morning, put one foot in front of the other and push through despite our grief.

I am no stranger to grief.  I have lost many loved ones, but the most life-altering loss was the death of my 19-year-old son Logan.  … Read more...

How is grief like a girdle?

For those of you wondering what a girdle is, think spanx. And guys, bear with me, you’ll understand, too.

So if you were to shimmy into this slimming, smoothing undergarment, you might feel OK if it isn’t too tight although by day’s end you’d want to get your body out of shapewear jail. But what if you want just a little more skinny and shimmy and you go a size smaller? Wouldn’t that look even better?

So if you put on the smaller one, fat might pop out of the top. You might even get mad and think the product … Read more...

My best friend died of anorexia

by Kendall Baker

Trigger warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

My best friend died of anorexia
My best friend died of anorexia

I kissed the top of her head and walked toward the door.  I paused.  I knew this was it.  I turned around to look at her and try to memorize her image, an image I barely recognized due to her physical state.  

“I’ll see you later,” I said. “I will.”

Katie smiled a forced smile and nodded.  She knew what I meant.

I let the door close behind me.  I was twenty nine and she thirty, but I knew that was the last time I’d … Read more...

A Gift of Grace. Faith helped me heal after my daughter’s suicide

by Charlotte Moyler

How faith helped me heal after my daughter's suicide by Charlotte Moyler
Charlotte Moyler

I am appreciative to Anne Moss for asking me to write about my faith before, during and especially after the death of my daughter. I write from my heart and an openness of my soul.

Many who suffer the loss of a child lose their faith. This actually makes a great deal of sense. How was my faith strengthened rather than weakened? Sense has nothing to do with it.

Sometimes in life, events occur that fracture the very foundation on which we stand. Our life, as we have known it, is forever changed and we … Read more...

The opioid crisis from ‘just a dad’

by Don Holman
In future posts, Don will be offering current event updates regarding national policy on the addiction and opiate crisis in the US 

Fighting the Opioid Crisis – What is it?

My proudest accomplishment in life is being a Dad to Kristen and Garrett. On 2/9/2017 that accomplishment took a tragic hit with the loss of my son Garrett. From that point on in my mind, no matter what I accomplish or acquire in the time I have left, I have lost. So, I had the choice of throwing in the towel and giving up, putting it behind … Read more...

My mother’s suicide lives on in me

by Rebecca Thomas

Trigger warning: Suicide method mentioned briefly.  

In mid 2018, after Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain died by suicide, it was their families I thought of almost immediately.

I know very well the lifetime of difficulty ahead for them.

My mother died by firearm when I was thirty-three. I try to tell people this as evenly as possible. As if it was an interesting fact of my life, and not a deep and central nerve–a thing woven into my flesh and bone.

Children left behind by suicide carry the persistent ache of a parent erased. They wanted to … Read more...

Day #12 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

Day 12 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The twelfth coping strategy is “Something Nice for Someone Else”

For many people in grief, doing acts of kindness, volunteering, doing something to bring comfort, a smile, or some love to another person is a way that we can find a bit of peace within our own pain.

Research shows that volunteerism and altruistic acts to benefit others have long term physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. Doing things for others can result in increased feelings of well-being. It brings a sense of purpose and helps us create meaning when life makes no sense. Studies also show … Read more...

Day #11 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The eleventh coping strategy is “Sleep”

Anxiety, depression and grief can make finding sleep a challenge. Most of the coping strategies that we have posted thus far will help with sleep but if you are in the early days of grief, it’s crucial because a day in early grief with no sleep is intolerable.

So I’ll share my strategy after Charles’ suicide. I did call my doctor and ask for a prescription for promethazine which is the generic name of Phenergan. It’s a drug used for nausea, after surgery usually, that makes me very tired. It makes most people tired, is … Read more...

Day #9 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

The ninth coping strategy is “Make Something”

It doesn’t matter whether you think you are creative or not. You are.

When you’re living with heart-crushing grief, just figuring out how to get out of bed is a creative endeavor. I talk to people a lot about being creative in grief and how helpful it can be. When I teach workshops or do retreats, we do all sorts of creative things in our grief. And people always say, “I’m just not creative,” or “I’m not an artist,” or “I can only draw stick figures.” Stick figures can do … Read more...