Grief Coach text messages draw on wisdom from hundreds of books, publications, podcasts and organizations. We're also thrilled to have expert contributors who author and review messages, based on their particular areas of expertise. These experienced contributors help to make sure our messages are personalized based on age, cause of death, relationship to the deceased and more, and that we're always providing thoughtful, appropriate suggestions to our subscribers.
Brian Hartzman | Male Grief
Brian is a certified Life Reentry® Practitioner through the Life Reentry® Institute. Following the loss of his wife, Brian grew tired of feeling stuck and began investigating the deeper meanings associated with grief and the lessons to be learned. He now hosts a widowers support group and supports others who have experienced loss, through his grief support agency.
Diane Snyder Cowan | Addiction Loss
Diane is the Director of Western Reserve Grief Services in Ohio, and is extremely active in the promotion of bereavement care at the local, regional and national level. She is the leader of the Bereavement Professionals section of the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals which is the professional arm of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and also served as a member of its Steering Committee for several years.
Elizabeth Semenova | Spiritual Care
Rev. Elizabeth Semenova, MSW, MTS is the Practice Director & Psychospiritual Guide at Integrated MD Care. She combines clinical psychology and existential spiritual exploration to offer support and facilitate transformative experiences with patients and their loved ones throughout the last phase of life and beyond. Elizabeth also serves on the Board of Directors for the Integrated Lifecare Foundation and The Hemlock Society of San Diego.
Galen Goben | Spirituality and Grief
Galen is the Grief Support Director for Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. He is an experienced Grief Support Director with a demonstrated history of working in the individual and family services industry. Galen is an experienced grief counselor, who holds a Doctor of Ministry focused in Thanatology from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Jarie Bolander | Male Grief & Partner Loss
Jarie is a marketer, engineer and writer whose life was turned upside down when his 36 year old wife, Jane, died of leukemia. He did things that a lot of men do after a loss before realizing he needed to find healthier ways to grieve. One of the things he turned to was writing and talking about male grief. His insights have inspired many of the text messages we send to men who have lost a partner, far too soon.
Katie Hawkins-Gaar | Partner Loss
Katie is a freelance writer who publishes a weekly newsletter called My Sweet Dumb Brain, which she started to help process the ups and downs of grief after her husband died unexpectedly in 2017. Her writing has been published by CNN, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine and more. Follow Katie on Twitter.
Kelsey Crowe | Empathy and Community
Kelsey is the author of There Is No Good Card For This, and a sought after speaker and researcher who focuses her work on the intersection between communication, empathy, and community.
Laura Takacs | COVID-19 and Traumatic Loss
Laura Takacs, LICSW, MPH, is the Clinical Director of Virginia Mason Grief Services in Seattle, WA. She's an experienced Mental Health Therapist with Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health from University of Washington. For the past 15 years she has worked both in the United States and abroad providing counseling and support to individuals who have experienced traumatic loss. Laura has worked with active military, veterans and refugees, and is now working closely with COVID-19 survivors in the US.
Laurel Marlantes | Infant and Pregnancy Loss
Laurel is the Founder of Modern Mourning, an organization that uses one-on-one support, healing circles, audio guides and more to help people heal after the loss of a child. Laurel's life changed unexpectedly, and very quickly, when her first child was stillborn. She was lost, scared, and in terrible pain, but over time adapted principles from her professional life to create practices of storytelling and beauty to support others after a pregnancy or infant loss.
Melissa Lunardini | Teens & Bereavement
Melissa has been providing support services to children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one, for over a decade. She developed the largest children's bereavement program in San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties. With focused interest in violent death (suicide and homicide), she is a sought-after crisis intervention resource for school professionals, and the owner of Tribal Grief. Melissa's areas of expertise include childhood bereavement, bereaved students, YA Bereavement, suicide prevention/postvention, and traumatic loss.
Michelle Post | Mindfulness and Therapy in Grief
Michelle has provided counseling services for children, teens, and adults learning to cope with grief, loss, and trauma since 2003. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and the CEO of Post International Inc. where she teaches, trains and consults with other grief and loss professionals. Currently, she is a Board Member for the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Chair of the AATB Donor Family Services Council, and Board President for HealGrief.
Patricia Caristo | Violent Death
Patricia is the Director of New Mexico's Resource Center for Victims of Violent Death. She has spent decades as a victims' advocate, and is trained in the support of people who have lost someone to a violent death. Patricia's years of experience in police and private investigation, as well as working with agencies such as New Mexico Survivors of Homicide, have given her deep compassion and wisdom that is both inspiring and practical.
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