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
Husband to my better two-thirds, father of three, grandfather of five and servant. The death of one of my five grandchildren, the only girl, Alanna, while in pursuit of my Masters in Biblical and Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, changed my ministry direction thrusting me into service of the grieving community.
I serve as a keynote speaker and trainer, presenting on grief topics including self-care, grandparent grief, and bereavement care and while giving my transformative testimony of hope through my first-hand experience and heartache of losing a grandchild and the complication that comes with being a grieving grandparent and caregiver.
Along with speaking and training, I have written numerous articles on biblical, spiritual and grief topics and serve the grieving community in multiple capacities including Hospice Chaplaincy and Disaster Spiritual Care Team duties through the Red Cross. I also serve as part of the leadership or active membership in organizations including Grief and Faith, Camp Agape and Compassionate Friends.
I work with schools, businesses, organizations, and churches, helping them create a safe landing space and continued care for those returning to their communities after a grief event. I serve grievers directly as well with a message of Hope and Healing, 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.