On May 11, 2016, my 4-year-old grand-princess Alanna died in a tragic accident, enrolling our family into the school of grief; and starting our long journey to healing and wholeness.
Alanna’s death impacted our family, but also her school family and community, beyond the scope of a few days of assigned counseling and meetings for her classmates and their families. More was needed, and I know Alanna would want her friends, extended family and strangers alike to feel better and have the support she herself would definitely give; through hugs and kind words, that was her way.
Alanna’s life added joy to the lives of family, friends, and strangers, inspiring me to continue a legacy of love and service in her honor.
I serve the grieving and those that care for them; though I would much prefer to have this call on my life through another method, I have the call nonetheless. I know that in my service of helping grievers heal I am healing also, and I know Alanna would want that.
Professional Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Author & Minister
I know firsthand the heartache of losing a child and the complication that comes with being a grieving grandparent and caregiver. I also know the struggle of searching for resources and support while on the journey of healing riddled with obstacles including ‘complicated grief’, moral injury and trauma, and I realized through my studies that others were experiencing the same struggles.
I’m damaged, not destroyed. I know grief, academically as well as personally. I want to help others on this hard grief journey travel well. I see you, and I want you to know you don’t have to walk alone.
I work with caregiver and service associations providing tools to prevent compassion fatigue and burnout through self-care, allowing them to continue to serve well. For schools, businesses, organizations, and churches I help them create a safe landing space and continued care for those returning to their communities after a grief event. I also serve grievers directly as well inspiring them with a message of Hope and Healing, and how to return to the ‘world’ (family, friends, work, etc) and remain productive in their post-grief-event state.
Why your focus on the education market?
My desire to serve the education community stems from the loss of my granddaughter and witnessing the impact on her classmates, teachers and surrounding community that had little to no support for the disruption and grief left behind by her passing. Also knowing that her brothers will be in someone’s classroom for many years, I want those “someones” to have the tools to care for them and other students that are grieving.
Why Pink and Purple?
Those were my sweet Alanna’s favorite colors. That’s a small way I can remember her, and I also wear pink and/or purple in some form whenever I speak and train.
Do you only speak to schools?
No, I still speak at conferences, galas, group meetings, etc. Please contact me for particulars.