SPEAKER | GRIEVER | ADVOCATE
I met a man one blurry night in Manhattan, and little did I know, he would be the soil in which my passion for grief work was to be planted. He had been rejected by his family for his life choices and was preparing for death without them. Helping him through his struggle to come to terms with his love for them and in turn his forgiveness while carrying the heavy weight of going through treatments. While coming to terms with his lonely death and grief was heartbreaking, it literally set me in activism mode.
It was shortly after his death, I completed training in Palliative Care Home Hospice. I volunteered in men’s homes for 5 years before the medications became reliable and being gay wasn’t always breaking family ties. Some of the most amazing times I have had in my life have been in the homes of dying. Strange, yes.. but so beautifully honest and raw.
I then completed the Children’s Palliative Care Training and dove into the heartbrokenness of dying children. It is in these years I really came to understand just how fickle death can be and how difficult it is to face death and grief. I was in awe that in times we would consider the most unimaginable, that we are able to find glimmers of beauty, cracks of light and the nourishment in tears.
Since then, I have been studying the importance of Community inside Deathcaring and Grief. This journey, while weaved with the loss of my own loved ones, was solidified by my participation in the Orphan Wisdom School. This 2 year scholarship took me into the depths of what death requires from us, the importance of grief as a skill and how supporting grievers inside a community serves all.
With the accumulation of all of these experiences, I left my Executive Role at a Workplace Mental Health organization to dedicate myself to the mission of Grief Advocacy in the Workplace.
Today, I work with Organizations, teams & their leaders on creating grief inclusive environments, I also continue my work with individuals who struggle to resolve the pain associated with grief. This work has never been more important especially in Healthcare Organizations, where I spend most of my time supporting Leaders and their Teams work through their grief and all the painful debilitating emotions associated with the pandemic.