Kristina Ashley has been interested in death, dying, and grief since she was in her early twenties. She has had truly powerful experiences with clients doing past life regressions as a certified hypnotherapist. She always felt there was something beyond the physical body, and that the soul retains memory and lives on, building towards the full realization of itself. Kristina’s work as a caregiver has affirmed to her that the times of birth and death are truly the most powerful. Her book, All Was Love, helps change the way we think and feel about death, life and love. www.allwaslove.com
Paul Atreides is a theatre critic and columnist for EatMoreArtVegas.com, and contributor to Desert Companion, a Nevada NPR/PBS publication. The “World of Deadheads,” Book 3, Nathan’s Clan of Deadheads, is the latest in his paranormal humor series; all three are available through Amazon. Current works in progress include Of Monsters and Men (working title), a novel about domestic violence, and Sins of the Fathers, a drama for the stage.
Visit his website: www.paul-atreides.com
Follow him on Twitter: @atreides_paul
Beth Rahe Balas, Grief Dialogues Advisory Council member, and editor fled from Philly to the Pacific Northwest 30 years ago with her husband. They built a home and raised their family on a little island halfway between the wild Olympic Peninsula and bustling Seattle. Her 2016 essay, “The Clan Stitch” can be found at www.stories.griefdialogues.com/2016/11/04/the-clan-stitch, and the poem “Too Early Too Late” in the 2017 book Just a Little More Time and is an editor with Green Flash Books. A teacher and visual artist, she designs gardens, among other things.
Paul Boardman is a writer and interfaith Funeral Chaplain and Celebrant living in Seattle, Washington. He grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and holds the farcically-named “Masters of Divinity” from Princeton Theological Seminary. Two of his enduring thematic obsessions in writing are: what constitutes a good life in the face of death/loss and the nature of yearning, even greed, for love. His work has been featured in The Good Men Project, Gravel, Thrive Global, P.S. I Love You, Veterans News Report, and ICCFA Magazine, and in the anthologies Just a Little More Time, We Came to Say and We Came Back to Say. He is looking to place his memoir.
Dr. Jeanne Broadbent is based in the North West region of the UK. She is an experienced humanistic therapist currently working with clients in a hospice and in private practice. Jeanne has a long-standing interest in issues of loss, bereavement and grief, and the uniqueness of this experience for the individual. She is particularly interested in traumatic bereavement and completed her Ph.D. in this area in 2015.
Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists and social issues. Written work includes Policarpa, Fabulous Monsters, Caliban’s Island, Enemy|Flint, and Linda, (in English and in Spanish), which has been seen all over the world. As an actor she originated the roles of Ama de Casa in the Spanish version of Menopause the Musical, Thumb in Imagine, and Ana Guerrero in Jose Cruz Gonzales’ Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy at South Coast Repertory. www.dianaburbano.com
Jennifer Coates – When not practicing and writing about tax law, Jennifer Coates writes poetry. She finds writing about tax law and writing poetry oddly similar and similarly satisfying. For both, she has to sink into the more spacious layers of words, to express content that doesn’t readily lend itself to easy expression– to take something extremely abstract, like emotions and mood, or abstruse tax concepts, and somehow make the abstraction concrete. It’s one of her favorite things to do. Jennifer’s poetry has been included in several anthologies, including Just a Little More Time, the annual juried Poetry Corners celebration of displayed poetry on Bainbridge Island, Washington during National Poetry Month, and Ars Poetica, a yearly juried pairing of visual arts and poetry in Kitsap County, Washington. Jennifer is honored to be included in this collection. Jennifer came to the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter 12 years ago from the NYC metro area and has not looked back since.
Elizabeth Coplan is the founder of the non-profit Grief Dialogues, an artistic movement, to create a new conversation about dying, death, and grief, She is an award-winning playwright, educator, speaker, and subject matter curator who helps others explore their grief and attitudes toward death. Her recent film 8 AM won several awards for selection at the Seattle International Film Festival, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, Byron Bay Festival (Australia), Cleveland International Film Festival, and YES Film Festival in Columbus, IN. In summer 2018, her play, Grief Dialogues, enjoyed sold-out performances in Seattle, and at the Dramatists Guild National Conference in New York. In fall 2018, Elizabeth took the play to Las Vegas to honor the victims/survivors/first responders and good samaritans of the October 1, 2017, mass shooting. In October 2018 the film version of the play is scheduled during ReimagineNYC, a week-long event in New York to explore life and death. www.griefdialogues.com
Mike Cordle is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. He was in the ministry for over 20 years. Now he works at a facility for people with dementia. He has had some of his work published in Manastash, the literary art journal of Central Washington University, his alma mater, as well as in the online magazine and blog Killing the Buddha.
Aspen Drake is 22 years old and has three younger siblings. They lost our mother to breast cancer in the early spring of 2016. Aspen now publishes a podcast titled Loss For Words, in hopes to document their grief journey for others who are on theirs.
Kathleen LaFrancis Eaton is an award-winning author. Her works include essays, gardening articles, fiction, and traditional murder mysteries. She has been a nurse, a consultant, and a CEO. Grief, she has learned, informs us of our great love of life and of each other. Fear not to love, fear not to grieve, it shows our humanity. Grief is the greatest of caring as it outlives the beloved and carries their gifts to others empowering others to carry on their work. www.KathleenEaton.net
Alison Eckels writes with a group at Cancer Lifeline in Seattle and on her own. Her father was an old-fashioned family doctor. His dinner table stories made clear that death is a part of life, as much as birth and all the years in between. Alison attended a Quaker school where they spoke of the Inner Light in all of us. Later she found a meditation group which taught that we are that light within, and our bodies are our home for each lifetime.
Sharon Ehlers is the author of Grief Reiki®- An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss. She is the co-author of Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Suicide which was a three-time finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards, the 2016 Book Excellence Awards and the 2016 Best Book Awards. She is also a contributor to other books in the Grief Diaries anthology including Hello from Heaven, How to Help the Newly Bereaved, Grieving for the Living and Loss of a Loved One. Sharon was recently named an expert instructor with the International Grief Institute. Her best lesson in life is: “Miracles do happen.”
Amy Ferris is an author, editor, screenwriter & playwright. Her memoir, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis (Seal Press, 2010) was adapted into an Off-Broadway play. She has written for both TV and film. Her screenplay, Funny Valentines, was nominated for a Best Screenplay award (BET) in 2000. She is the co-editor of the anthology, Dancing at The Shame Prom (Seal Press, 2012) and most recently editor of Shades Of Blue, Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue (Seal Press, 2015). Amy was recently named – and awarded – one of Women’s eNews 2018 21 LEADERS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. She is currently writing the book for the play/musical #MeToo the Musical. You can read her blog at www.marryinggeorgeclooney.com
Alica Forneret is a creative exploring death, dying, and grief through storytelling. With over 10 years of experience as an editor and writer, Alica’s work has taken her all over the world—she’s eaten, written, and traveled her way across Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. She now works with an extensive network of international writers and artists as collaborative partners for print and digital death-focused projects. www.alicaforneret.com
Robyn Faust Gabe decided to take her pain combined with multiple losses to benefit other bereaved siblings. In 2010, she enrolled in a doctoral program at Nova Southeastern. There she studied sibling bereavement issues utilizing theoretical lenses associated with the conflict analysis and resolution field. In 2016, Dr. Gabe graduated with her Ph.D.
Maureen Geraghty has been teaching high school for over 27 years, mostly in alternative school settings. She is the mother of two fantastic children. Maureen has published a book of poems entitled, Look Up-Poems of a Life. Her poems, essays, and stories are published by The National Writing Project, Re-Thinking Schools, Watch My Rising Anthology, Tacenda Literary Journal, mamazine.com, Teaching with Heart, Mothering.comand most recently she published a children’s book, Grandpa Ron’s Bird Food. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Sara J Glerum– After fifty-two years of marriage, Sara J. Glerum is reinventing herself as a widow. To keep in contact with her far-flung offspring and families, she writes a blog, Beats Talking To Myself. She has received recognition in several writing contests, and dozens of her of personal essays have been published.
Emma Goldman-Sherman’s plays include why birds fly, Abraham’s Daughters and WHORTICULTURE, all named semi-finalists for Risk Is This Festival at Cutting Ball (2014, 2015, and 2017). Perfect Women won a Jane Chambers Award (produced by All Out Arts in New York and Theatre Conspiracy in Washington DC). Other productions include Significant Circus (Manhattan Theatre Source), Wombshot (Circle Rep Lab, Take One Prods. at Camilla’s and The Culture Project; at Grand Arts Gallery in Kansas City; and at Canal Cafe Theatre in London). Counting in Sha’ab was produced by Golden Thread in the ReOrient Festival of plays about the Middle East. Emma received residencies at The Millay Colony for the Arts, Ragdale, and twice at WordBridge where she returned as a dramaturg. She earned an MFA from the University of Iowa where Antigone’s Sister won the Maibaum Award for plays addressing social justice. She is the Resident Dramaturg at the 29th Street Playwrights Collective where she runs the Write Now Workshop for new play development in NYC. Member: New Circle Theatre Company, LPTW, and the Dramatists Guild.
Gwen Goodkin’s writing has been published by Fiction, Witness, The Dublin Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Atticus Review, jmww, Exposition Review, The Rumpus, Reed Magazine, and others. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has won the Black Fox Literary Magazine Contest as well as the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction. She also writes for the screen and stage. Her website is www.gwengoodkin.com
Rachel Greenberg’s life changed in an instant on March 23, 2013. While she was out doing Saturday errands, her husband Glenn suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage. They never spoke to each other again. She was thrown into this thing called “grief” and had no idea what to do. In 2017, she started Connections of Hope where she helps the bereaved to know they are not alone in their grief. She has been a guest on several international podcasts, she is active on social media, @ConnectionsHope, and is a regular public speaker in Southern California on all things grief, death, dying and hope. She is currently writing a memoir, “Finding Glenn.” She lives in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Erin Harrop is a medical social worker and third-year doctoral student at the University of Washington School of Social Work. Her research focuses on eating disorders, stigma, and chronic illness. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing outside, and creating things.
Linda Shadwell Hart and her husband Greg were married in 1989 and have two children, Allison and Spencer. Greg was an architect and a principal in a Seattle firm. His passion was building environmentally sound schools. Linda retired from a career in emergency room nursing once Greg quit work. She has helped ease many people into death in a clinical setting. “I could never have foreseen what I experienced in the comfort of my own home. Praying that each breath would be my husband’s last, and left to struggle through a process that while legal, offered only a ‘one size fits all’ tool.”
Donna James is a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She began writing poetry and essays shortly before her husband’s cancer diagnosis, allowing her to write her way through his treatment and death, and through her own grief. Her current work touches on the relationship, science, the state of our world, aging, and visual art.
Susan Johnson spent a forty-year career in advocacy and health policy at the state and national levels culminating in an appointment by President Barack Obama to serve as Health and Human Services Director of Region 10. Now retired, she enjoys fly fishing, watercolor painting, skiing, golf, tennis, pickleball, and travel.
Kara LC Jones is the Creative Grief Educator and heARTist behind GriefAndCreativity.com. She co-founded both the Creative Grief Studio and KotaPress. She’s a Carnegie Mellon graduate who interned 3 years at Mister Rogers Neighborhood back in the day.
Toni Lepeska’s diverse career in journalism spans 29 years of writing about criminal justice, community development, and business growth. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, she currently is a freelance writer and editor. An aspiring author, she blogs about her personal journey of healing and the transformative impact of grief at www.tonilepeska.com.
Ann Lovejoy is the author of numerous books on gardening, garden design, and sustainable gardening. Ann has also written several cookbooks, including Cooking At Harmony Hill, which supports free workshops and retreats for people affected by cancer. For over 20 years, she has led the Friday Tidy volunteers in caring for award-winning gardens at the Bainbridge Public library. In recent years, Ann has designed and planted several public landscapes, including the gardens at Waypoint Park and Hannah’s Garden at Owen’s Playground, an accessible play space for people of all ages and abilities. Her current projects include Transfriending, a support group for family and friends of people in or considering gender transition, and the Peace Cafe, open community conversations on challenging topics such as hope, affordable housing, gun control, and school safety. She lives on Bainbridge Island, where she is active in promoting affordable housing.
Mary McLaughlin is a pen name. The writer chooses to remain anonymous.
Florrie Munat is the author of Be Brave: A Wife’s Journey Through Caregiving (2017), a memoir about her forty-year marriage, focusing on the years she was a caregiver for her husband Chuck who had Lewy body dementia. Florrie is the author of several children’s books, articles, stories, and YA book reviews. She’s also been a reference librarian, English teacher, and university press worker. Learn more about Florrie and Be Brave at www.florriemunat.com.
Dr. Robert A Neimeyer is Psychology Professor at University of Memphis and Director of The Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, and Board Member of Grief Dialogues. “Our connections define us, and we can accomplish far more together than we can independently.” His book, The Art of Longing: Selected Poems, 2009, was published by BookSurge Publishing and can be purchased through Amazon online.
Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Heavy Feather, Triggerfish, The Almagre Review, and O: JA&L.
Kimberly C Paul is a lifelong storyteller who wants to radically change the way people face an end of life. From the set of Saturday Night Live to casting for CBS daytime, Kimberly has a passion for connecting with audiences. She has spent the last 17 years telling a very different kind of story. As VP of Outreach and Communications for a Wilmington, NC hospice, she created award-winning marketing strategies to share stories of how hospice patients and their loved ones face the end of life journey and the keys to making every moment matter. Author, Host of Death by Design Podcast, and a Ted X Talk Speaker, her newest book, Bridging The Gap, hopes to change how people talk, design and plan for their own end of life. Bring the Live Well Die Well Tour to your town or city. www.livewelldiewelltour.com
Vanessa Poster, a member of the Los Angeles Poets and Writer’s Collective, studied Method Writing with Jack Grapes for more than 20 years and is part of the Poetry Salon since 2017. Her work appears in literary publications including Thieving Magpie, ONTHEBUS, I’ll have Wednesday, and Fourth & Sycamore. She is a writing coach and runs the writing workshop: “The Write Way: Using the Written Word to Heal Grief.” Vanessa is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors in Humanities and a Masters in Modern Thought and Literature. Widowed in 2015, Vanessa writes poems exploring themes of grief, love, and gratitude. Both poems appearing in this volume, “We Danced,” and “Stages of Grief,” were previously published in the Thieving Magpie.
Richard Rosario is a native of Fox River Grove, Illinois. He is retired from the practice of law in Illinois and teaching public school in Las Vegas, Nevada. He currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and adult children. He has self-published two novels, Burned Out: Confessions of a Public School Teacher and Doubting Thomas, as well as a book of biblical satirical plays, The Silliest Story Ever Told. All three works are available on Amazon.
Aimee Ross is a nationally award-winning educator who has been a high school English teacher for the past twenty-five years and who will publish Permanent Marker: A Memoir in March 2018. She completed her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing at Ashland University in 2014, and her writing has been published on lifein10minutes.com and SixHens.com, as well as in Beauty around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia, Scars: An Anthology, Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators, and Teaching Tolerance magazine. Learn more at aimeerossblog.wordpress.com.
Will Silverman began writing poetry at age 12. Despite working a variety of jobs and various “career” paths, Will has consistently returned to writing as an outlet for his soul. In poetry, he enjoys the challenge of evoking emotions using strong, descriptive words in an efficient manner. Will spent his early years on the east coast, but finally found home in Montana. Drawing inspiration from mountains, Will spent 40 years in Missoula searching for passion in the beauty of his surroundings. Will derives his greatest inspiration from his children, Malia and Koby. Through them comes light, love and tremendous joy.
Katrina Taee lives and works in the UK. She was a Psychosynthesis counsellor for 18 years and had a private practice. Katrina also worked as a volunteer counsellor in a hospice with patients and families. She has always been interested in death, dying, grief and bereavement. Katrina Taee is now an End of Life Doula.
Mary Langer Thompson’s poems, short stories, and essays appear in various journals and anthologies. She is a contributor to two poetry writing texts, The Working Poet (Autumn Press, 2009) and Women and Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012), and was the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California. A retired school principal and former secondary English teacher, Langer Thompson received her Ed.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She enjoys conducting poetry workshops for schools, prisons, and in her community.
Megan Vered holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work can be found in the San Francisco Chronicle, Lake Effect, Silk Road Review, and the Mill Valley Historical Society Review. She was a featured essayist in Mezzo Cammin and Fifty Over Fifty Anthology. Her first-person writing focuses on family, friendship, faith, and the sounds of her youth.
Dr. Jane Williams is a clinical psychologist who has worked for over 25 years with individuals who have experienced trauma, life-threatening illnesses, and grief. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School where she trained in Medical Crisis Counseling. Dr. Williams has helped develop grief programs, made national presentations at grief conferences, and published peer-reviewed articles on grief. Her book, Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief, was recently published by Library Partners Press and can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, or in local independent bookstores. Dr. Williams recently retired from Wake Forest University Medical School.
Jocelyn Williams was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first major loss she experienced was the death of her mother in 2002. Years later, she went on to get certified to teach Grief Recovery and now Jocelyn Williams is a trainer for the Grief Recovery Institute. “I began blogging as a single person in my 40’s who had never been married because I recognized that I and many of my single friends experienced being single as a loss. So I started to blog about experienced related to that. And now I blog about a few more topics with a grief recovery perspective.” www.mobettajo.com
Tess Williams is a pen name. The writer chooses to remain anonymous.
Linda Yasutake and Madi Williamson are a mother and daughter who lost Linda’s dad (Madi’s Grandpa) and Madi’s Papa, Jim (Linda’s ex-husband and best friend) exactly three months apart. Linda trained as a social worker and is currently a volunteer soccer coach and soccer community advocate. Madi is working towards her Associates in Nursing and has spent three months in Greece working as a medical coordinator and advocate in the refugee camps. She has also spent time in the Dominican Republic on medical missions. She has a passion for reading, writing and traveling. A year after losing Jim, Linda lost her mom (Madi’s grandma). Madi and Linda firmly believe that with great loss comes great love.
Grief Dialogues: The Book
Grief Dialogues is an educational and informational community and not meant to diagnose or act as medical treatment. Professional support services based on life and grief coaching practices for moving forward after a loss may be offered. If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)