Grief Coach text messages include wisdom, tips and resources from expert contributors, each with their specific area of expertise.
Grief in the Workplace
Alica is an educator, speaker, and consultant who facilitates sessions focused on inclusive bereavement responses and how to address grief at work for companies including Google, Culture Amp, Nielsen, and The California Department of Education. She has also partnered on international events and projects with the likes of The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, Columbia University, and Lululemon. Alica is the Founder and Executive Director of PAUSE, an organization focused on supporting Communities of Color through grief and end of life.
Andrea is a certified bereavement and support group facilitator. She is also the founder of Grief to Grind, an organization committed to supporting people after the loss of a sibling. Andrea believes that life transitions bring us to our purpose, and that our grief matters as a way to find meaning.
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.
Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s What-if’s
Chanel founded GYST (Get Your Shit Together) in 2013 to share the lessons she learned after her husband was killed in a bicycling accident in 2009 and she found herself a widowed, single mother of a 5-year old as well as step-mom to a 13 year old. Her story and work have been featured in the New York Times on NPR, CNBC, the CBS This Morning show and CNBC and have reached millions of people worldwide. Her first book, "What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s What-if’s" was published by Harper Collins in 2019 and named one of the Best Wellness books of the year by Library Journal.
Diane Snyder Cowan
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.
Certified Grief Coach & Trainer
Dora worked in the funeral and death care industry for twenty years, and saw that people often didn't receive the support they needed after a death. Her experience led her to build the Institute of Professional Grief Coaching, an organization that trains and certifies grief coaches, as well as The Aniya Center, a non-profit organization providing grief coaching support services to residents of Washington, D.C. She is also the Founder and Program Director of the ‘From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program’ which is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
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.
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.
Clinicians and Grief
Hui-wen has been a pediatric ICU nurse since 2010. She has been published in the American Journal of Nursing, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, AACN Advanced Critical Care, and she is a regular contributor to AJN’s blog, Off the Charts. Her writing has also been published in the Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work and The Healer’s Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief. Her 2017 TEDxTalk was promoted to the main TED webpage in 2020, titled “How Grief Helped Me Become a Better Caregiver.” She has given keynote presentations at various local and national nursing conferences, and created a webinar for Happify titled, “How to Care for Yourself as a Caregiver.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their two daughters, tortoises and dog.
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.
Jenny Lisk is a bestselling author and widowed mom who is dedicated to helping widowed parents increase their family's well-being. In her book, Future Widow, Jenny draws on her personal and professional experience to provide a real-life guide for surviving and thriving while raising grieving children. As host of The Widowed Parent Podcast, Jenny has done more than 100 interviews with experts, seasoned widowed parents, and people who lost a parent at a young age.
Joanne Lelewer Harpel
Joanne L. Harpel, President of Coping After Suicide and President and CEO of Rethink The Conversation, is an international authority on suicide bereavement. Joanne is the former longtime Senior Director for Public Affairs and Postvention for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the recipient of the American Association of Suicidology's Survivor of the Year Award, and serves as an advisor to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She lost her younger brother to suicide in 1993.
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.
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.
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.
End of Life Planning
Liz is the co-founder and CEO Lantern, a venture backed Public Benefit Corporation on a mission to change the way we talk about and manage end of life and death. She is also an active volunteer and Board member for Experience Camps, a one-week free summer camp for children who've lost a loved one. Liz founded her first social venture at age 15 focused on dating abuse and domestic violence education in schools. The org has been running for nearly half her life. She holds a BBA from Parsons the New School for Design, ran Special Projects for DoSomething.org, and was also on the founding team of Crisis Text Line where she helped to grow the org to 12,000 volunteers and 76 million messages, in 3 countries.
Caregivers and Grief
Lucinda Koza is the founder and CEO of I-Ally, a community-driven app for millennial family caregivers. She was spurred to action when she found herself becoming her father's sole caregiver in 2018. Lacking support from every direction, she could feel herself falling through the cracks of the system and decided to dedicate her life's mission to advocating for the invisible family caregiver labor force. Lucinda has been named a Hero of the COVID Crisis by Authority Magazine and Thrive Global, and a Visionary Voice by All Raise. She is excited to now be an On Deck NYC Drop Tech Fellow as well as a member of the Time's Up Care Economy Business Council.
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 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.
Grief and Loss
Shelby Forsythia (she/her) is the author of Your Grief, Your Way and Permission to Grieve and podcast host of Grief Book Roundup, Grief Seeds, and Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss. Following the death of her mother in 2013, she became a “student of grief” and set out on a lifetime mission to study the human experience of loss. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Bustle, and The Oprah Magazine.
Grief and Mental Health for Young Adults
Vivian Nunez is a writer, content creator and strategist. Her award-winning Instagram community has created pathways for speaking on traditionally taboo topics, like mental health and grief. Through her writing she offers creatives guidance on how to embrace creativity and cultivate mental wellness routines that work for them. At the start of her career, Vivian founded Too Damn Young, a resource platform for grieving young adults. She’s been featured by Instagram, Netflix, CBS This Morning, Oprah! The Magazine, and is a regular contributor on Forbes and Well+Good. You can find Vivian @vivnunez on Instagram and her writing on both Medium and her blog.