When my grandfather died, I was holding him in my arms and he was smiling. That moment the church bells rang. He lived in peace and he died in peace, and I have spent decades wanting to understand how he did that so beautifully.
In my life I have been an author, an entrepreneur, a counselor, and a businesswoman, but nothing has given me more joy or sense of purpose than working with people facing the end of their lives to find comfort, intention and peace. I graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s in Counseling from Goddard College in Vermont and have over 10 years of experience working with hospice patients, of all ages, facing their final days. I have served on the board of the National End of Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) and I am an instructor and facilitator with the University of Vermont’s Larner School of Medicine’s end-of-life doula program. I am also an INELDA certified end-of-life practitioner. I have provided counseling in an alcohol and drug rehab facility and general counseling with college-bound teenagers.
My master's thesis, entitled The Seven Components of a Meaningful Life, was the foundation for my work the past 10 years and is the research behind my most recent book, entitled "Dear Death, Finding Meaning in Life, Peace in Death, and Joy in an Ordinary Day." I have written other books about meaning and leaving legacies, which are used for people in transition to understand themselves more deeply and to reflect upon the heart and soul of who they are. My work has been featured on numerous local and national TV and radio programs and has been translated into seven languages. When I work with clients at the end of life, I use all these resources and have found that the legacy work can be one of the most healing and important benefits of working with an end of life doula.
In 2007, when I had breast cancer, my three children and I wrote a book entitled, "Special Delivery - A Cookbook for Food & Life” which is filled with recipes from friends and blog entries from my cancer journey. All profits earned from this cookbook are donated to help others in need around the world. I am the founder and director of "Dream of Better World," a non-profit, founded in 2008 with a two-fold mission: to support disadvantaged children around the world, and to inspire everyone to realize that "you're never too young, or too old, to make a difference!"
I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County. I love the landscape, the people, and the endless possibilities to experience joy in this beautiful place. In my early career, I owned a popular Marin County restaurant called The Island Café where I enjoyed meeting so many wonderful residents of Marin. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed helping teens, people in mid-life transitions, and people nearing the end of their lives find meaning, purpose and joy. I believe wholeheartedly that people can live fully and purposefully, all the way through life, from this moment until their final breath.