team

Alica Forneret

Executive Director, PAUSE

Alica is the Founder and Executive Director of PAUSE, an organization focused on supporting Communities of Color through grief and end of life. She is an educator, speaker, and consultant who has partnered on international events and projects with the likes of The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation and Columbia University. As an educator, speaker and consultant, Alica facilitates sessions focused on inclusive bereavement responses and how to address grief at work for companies including Google and Nielsen.

Andrea Moore

Founder, Grief to Grind

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.

Andy McNiel

CEO, The Satori Group

Andy McNiel, MA, has served in non-profit leadership in a variety of settings throughout his career. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The Satori Group, LLC, a national education, management, and consulting company, providing education and consultation to non-profit organizations. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer for The National Alliance for Children's Grief, the Executive Director for The Amelia Center at Children’s of Alabama, and the Director of Grief Counseling Services and Director of Development for Hospice of Martin and St. Lucie (now Treasure Health) in South Florida.

Angela E. Morris

Author, Love Notes To Grievers

Angela E. Morris is the author of Love Notes To Grievers (revised expanded edition coming out spring 2023) and a Massage Therapist who offers people a soft space to land as they navigate their grief. She provides reflective writing on grief, loss and relational inquiry as it relates to grief, pushing against how the dominant culture reacts toward death and the grief that comes with it. She encourages her readers to walk together through their healing, taking the time to tend to their pain and be with their loss, carrying their loved ones with them, not leaving them behind.

Barri Leiner Grant

Founder, The Memory Circle

Barri Leiner Grant is a certified grief coach (ICF) and founder of The Memory Circle. Born from a desire to make the grief cycle a shared experience, The Memory Circle is a place to gather, remember, and celebrate those we lost and love. As a coach, Barri helps facilitate and explore ways to remember and reflect on loss in both one-on-one sessions and grief support groups. Her passion for helping others share their grief stories became a personal mission when her mother, Ellen Jane died of a brain aneurism in 1993 at just 50 years old. Barri also works with firms of all sizes to develop best practices and policies around bereavement leave and employee grief support.

Chanel Reynolds

Author, What Matters Most

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

Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Ddministrator (CHPCA)

Diane served for many years as 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.

Dora Carpenter

Founder, From Grief to Gratitude

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).

Dougy Center

World renowned grief organization

Dougy Center’s philosophy is grounded in a humanistic and holistic approach to understanding and supporting children and families who are grieving. The organization is world-renowned for their peer grief support model for helping children, teens, and young adults cope with the death of a family member. Dougy Center has been recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Alliance for Children’s Grief, the Association for Death Education & Counseling, and are regularly called upon by local, national, and international media to provide insight into current events and issues related to dying, death, and bereavement.

empowerHER®

International Non-profit Supporting Motherless Daughters

empowerHER® was formed in 2013 by Cara Belvin after a recognized need in the community. empowerHER® is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit with a very specific mission—to empower, support and connect girls and young women up through age 24 who have experienced the loss of their mothers. Their supportive and inclusive community offers events to remind girls they are not alone in their grief, as well as a one-on-one mentor program that provides year-round support from positive role models. Grief Coach is delighted to be collaborating with empowerHER® to deliver texts to girls whose moms have died.

Galen Goben

Grief Support Director, Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries

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.

Hope Edelman

Author, Motherless Daughters & The AfterGrief

Hope Edelman has been writing, speaking, and leading workshops and retreats in the bereavement field for more than 25 years. She was 17 when she lost her mother to breast cancer and 40 when her father died, events that inspired her to offer grief education and support to those who cannot otherwise receive it. Hope’s first book, Motherless Daughters, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and her most recent book, The AfterGrief, offers an innovative new language for discussing the long arc of loss. Her work has been translated into 14 languages and published in 11 countries.

Hui-wen Sato

Pediatric ICU Nurse

Hui-wen is a pediatric ICU nurse whose work has been published in the American Journal of Nursing, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, and AACN Advanced Critical Care. 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.”

Jenny Lisk

Author, Future Widow

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

President, Coping After Suicide

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.

Karen Furr

Founder, The Resilient Nurse Project

Karen is a Registered Nurse with a master’s degree in nursing education. With over 15 years of experience as a nurse, she has taught in the clinical practicum and classroom settings in both LPN and BSN programs and serves as a nurse resilience coach and consultant. Karen founded The Resilient Nurse Project in 2020 in order to fulfill her mission of helping nurses recognize, address, and overcome burnout and compassion fatigue. As Founder and CEO of The Resilient Nurse Project, Karen’s desire is to make a significant sustainable impact on the nursing profession.

Katie Hawkins-Gaar

Grief Author & Journalist

Katie serves on the Advisory Board for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and writes a weekly newsletter called My Sweet Dumb Brain, about the ups and downs of life. Following the sudden death of her husband in 2017, Katie has written about grief, loss, and mental health for The New York Times, Glamour, Vox, CNN, Fortune, and more. She is passionate about improving relationships through transparency and vulnerability, and is a firm believer that you can learn a lot by simply listening.

Kelsey Crowe

Author, There's No Good Card For This

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. She is also the founder of Empathy Bootcamp, a world-leading organization committed to delivering empathy training that helps people be stronger participants in the world.

Laura Takacs

Clinical Director, Virginia Mason Grief Services

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

Founder, Modern Mourning

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.

Liz Gleeson

Grief Clinician, Academic & Researcher

As a psychotherapist working in loss and grief, Liz believes deeply in the importance of compassionate, human connection when people experience profound loss. She is an advocate for research-informed grief literacy, the creator of an award-winning online Grief Training Programme and also the host of Shapes Of Grief, a podcast with a large, global listenership. Liz believes in the power of kindness and psycho-education to support and empower people as they tread the terrain of acute grief. She is allergic to toxic positivity and believes that grief is part and parcel of being a fully alive, authentic human being.

Mandi Zucker

Founder, Inner Harbor

Mandi is the Founder and Executive Director of Inner Harbor, a national organization dedicated to supporting young adult and college student grievers. She is a Lead Responder for the Traumatic Loss Coalition of NJ and an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. She is a member of the National Alliance for Children’s Grief where she has served on several committees.

Megan Devine

Psychotherapist & Author, It's OK That You're Not OK

Psychotherapist Megan Devine believes that making the world a better place starts with acknowledging grief, rather than seeking to overcome it. She advocates for a revolution in how we discuss loss - personally, professionally, and as a wider community. Megan is the author of the best-selling book, It’s OK that You’re Not OK and creator of an animation called “how to help a grieving friend” that gained over 35 million views in its first few months after launch. Her work has been translated into 15 languages, and is featured widely in the media, including the New York Times, NPR, Harvard Business Review, and The Atlantic.

Meghan Riordan Jarvis, MA, LCSW

Founder, Grief is my Side Hustle

Meghan Riordan Jarvis, MA, LCSW is a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, grief and loss. After experiencing PTSD after the deaths of both of her parents within two years of each other, Meghan started the platform “Grief is My Side Hustle” which includes her popular blog, links to her podcast under the same name, and her free writing workshop “grief mates.” Meghan offers public and private sector consultation to leadership teams working to increase emotional fluency and care in decision making and intentional business culture development. Meghan’s memoir “End of the Hour” is scheduled to publish in 2023.

Mekel Harris

Psychologist

Dr. Mekel Harris, Ph.D., NCSP, PMH-C is a licensed psychologist and health service provider (HSP). She offers education, consultation, and supervision services to organizations throughout the country. Dr. Harris specializes in coping and adjustment to acute and chronic illness, grief and loss, and health-related trauma. She has presented at over 30 domestic and international conferences, focused on pediatric, family, and community health issues, including grief and loss. Dr. Harris is a TEDx speaker, FOX13 Memphis mental health expert, blogger, magazine and podcast contributor, and author of a memoir, “Relaxing Into the Pain: My Journey Into Grief & Beyond.” In addition, Dr. Harris is the creator of the mini-course and e-book, The Grief Anatomy Toolkit, and Re-Imagining Life After Loss interactive course.

Michelle Post

Psychotherapist

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.

Naila Francis

Grief Coach and Interfaith Minister

Naila Francis is a writer, grief coach, death midwife and ordained interfaith minister. Through her work at This Hallowed Wilderness Naila holds space and offers ritual and ceremony for people at many of life's sacred thresholds. Her work is often informed by her love of poetry, the gifts of healing rooted in nature and community and her commitment to expanding our grief literacy and death awareness. Naila is a founding member of Salt Trails, a Philadelphia collective making grief public and visible through community rituals.

Oceana Sawyer

Grief Guide & End of Life Doula

Oceana is a certified home funeral celebrant, living funeral ceremony facilitator, and Conscious Dying Educator who holds graduate degrees in counseling psychology and organizational development. In her work as an End of Life Doula, Oceana specializes in the liminal spaces of active dying and grief. She draws upon her meditation practice and intensive study in the expressive arts and integral counseling psychology to bring a grounded, compassionate presence and holistic approach to her work. Through Death Cafes, End of Life (EOL) vision mapping, EOL doula training, and virtual grief events and workshops, Oceana has the opportunity to work with individuals and groups from all walks of life.

Patricia Caristo

Director, New Mexico's Resource Center for Victims of 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.

Rachelle Bensoussan

Thanatologist

Rachelle Bensoussan is the co-founder and managing director of Being Here, Human. She holds a master’s degree in Thanatology, is a certified Thanatologist with the Association of Death Education and Counseling, and has spent the last twelve years building community-based bereavement programs for hospices across Southern Ontario. Rachelle is a former faculty member of McMaster University and was a longitudinal facilitator at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. She is also a part-time faculty member at Western University (King’s College) in the department of Thanatology. Rachelle is a queer-identified woman of North-African & Middle Eastern descent and is a fierce believer that grief is our birthright.

Red Nose

Australian Non-Profit Organization with 40+ Years Experience Providing Support After The Death of a Child

Red Nose has over 40 years of experience providing grief support to people impacted by the loss of a baby or child in Australia. Their deep experience working with grieving individuals and families after the loss of a baby or child makes them an ideal addition to the Grief Coach community of experts. In addition to providing 24/7 support via their support line, one-on-one professional counseling and peer support groups, Red Nose created the world-first Hospital to Home program. Hospital to Home was set up to support grief-stricken parents devastated to return empty-handed to a home set up for a baby.

Reimagine End of Life

Meaning Making

Reimagine's mission is to help all people face adversity, loss, and mortality, and channel the hard parts of life into meaningful action and growth. They have hosted thousands of community-driven experiences that bring creativity, connection, and essential conversation to communities around the world, focusing on topics ranging from healthcare to the arts, social services and spirituality. Reimagine is well known for their ability to create space for all types of grief to support people as they create meaning and honor their loved ones through memories, words, and actions.

Shelby Forsythia

Author, Your Grief Your Way

Shelby 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. As Grief Coach's Head of Marketing and Content Strategist, Shelby helps end-of-life professionals get the word out about our text-based support service and creates social posts and articles that help people support others and themselves through a subscription to Grief Coach texts.

Stacy Drake

Medicolegal Death Investigator

As a medicolegal death investigator working with families and communities surviving sudden and unexpected death, Stacy believes in offering real-time and transparent communication that promotes the health and safety of surviving families and communities. Her career path focuses on impacting populations at risk through the reduction of preventable causes of death through collaborative research, education, and translating best practices into the field of medicolegal death investigations. Stacy provides a consulting service for families seeking guidance about the processes and procedures within a medical examiner or coroner office, educating healthcare providers about the forensic aspects of care, and educating and coaching aspiring to be and current death investigators.

Sundari Malcolm

Director of BIPOC Wellbeing, The Dinner Party

Sundari Malcolm is the Director of BIPOC Wellbeing for The Dinner Party. At 27, and after 7 years of being her caregiver, Sundari lost her mother to breast cancer. At 31 years old she lost her father to brain cancer. Since then Sundari has dedicated her life to the support of caregivers and all those managing life after loss. Sundari is a birth and death doula, yoga and meditation teacher, and founder of Soul Sundari Wellness. She also recent published the book Grief Gems!

Vivian Nunez

Founder, Too Damn Young

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.