Do You Know That for Sure?

When I was chatting with my friends this weekend during our day trip, the conversation segued into a discussion of “made in USA” products. Although I do look for that label, I also understand that just because it says “made in USA” it doesn’t mean it’s made in this country by non-sweatshop workers. In fact, there is an island not far from China that is a commonwealth of the USA, and despite its gorgeous weather and scenery, it was a horror for the workers from China and the Philippines who had been lured there with promises of higher wages (higher than mainland China, though significantly less than USA minimum wage) and living on American soil. Despite the horrendous lie and deception (not only deceiving the workers but deceiving those of us who prefer to buy products made here by people who are paid at least minimum wage) many well-known companies with well-known brands utilized those poor workers, while boasting that their designer-label clothes were made in the USA.

My companions had never heard of such a place, and one asked me, “Do you know this for sure?”

I had to admit that I didn’t. I do know for sure that I read about this island, and I do know for sure that it had been documented and well-researched because when I first heard about this travesty (long before the internet and Google) that’s all the non-fiction I was reading — books with pedigrees.

Still, what do I know? What do any of us know? Besides what we have seen or felt or experienced ourselves, we don’t know anything for sure. In my case, I have to trust my sources, and back then, it was easy — in the back of the books I read were indexes of the research involved and sources for further reading — but now, with the internet and the easy spread of . . . non-truths, let’s say . . . it’s hard to know what is or is not true.

Curious, I set about looking for this island. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything on Google, but surprisingly, it was easy to find via Bing.

And yes, there is an island — Saipan — in the Northern Marianas. And yes, American garment manufacturers did utilize what amounts to slave labor. Luckily, after the scam and abuses were exposed in the early 1990s, and after millions of dollars in settlements from the apparel brands, things changed. But that’s not the end — a few years ago, the same scam was re-instigated, but this time the abused workers were construction workers.

Because of earlier scams and deceptions, even though I look for the “made in USA” label, I am leery of it. I tend to believe manufacturing shenanigans and sleight of hand still exist, but that is merely supposition gleaned from my knowledge of the corporate race to rake in as much profit as possible. But as with so much else I think I know, there’s no way to know for sure.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

So Many Treats

Yesterday was a day of treats. I went on a day trip with a couple of friends to the big city. Or rather a big city since Colorado has more than one big city. I often joke about having gone to the “big city” when in fact I merely went to another small town, though one that is three times the size of the town where I live. But this time — yep, a big city. We also went to a medium-size city, but that doesn’t sound as exciting as a big city. Since these cities are on the front range, I was able to see mountains! (Contrary to what a lot of people think, there is a large swath of Colorado, including where I live, that is so far east it has no view of the mountains.)

In the big city, we went to an Asian market — a supermarket full of Asian food products and housewares. For my Asian friend, it was like going home. For me, it was like going to a foreign country. If that was the only store I ever had to shop in, I’d probably starve to death, which just goes to show that what is a delicacy to one person is completely unappetizing to another person. (I’m trying to be diplomatic here, so I had to find an adjective other than “gag-worthy” or “revolting.” And yet, what do I know? I have eaten a hot dog or two on occasion.) I’m sure there were plenty of tasty things in that store, but I was just as glad not to have to take a chance.

After we left that “foreign country,” we went to a buffet which was very nice and very tasty, then on to a warehouse store that seemed just as foreign to me as the Asian market. So much food and sundries, and in such huge quantities! I was surprised to find eggs — and not just eggs but pasture-raised eggs, which is a classification that I’d not seen before. Surprisingly, the eggs were cheaper than regular caged-chicken eggs, but even if they weren’t, I would have bought them. I know it’s not exactly a topic most people care to think about, but truly, most egg production in this country is truly appalling.

The biggest treat of all, was that we got back in the dark, so when we dropped off my friend at her place way outside of town, I got to see . . . stars!!! Lots and lots of stars as well as the bright band of the Milky Way. Wow.

It’s funny — when I went on my cross-country trip, I looked for places with dark skies, but I’d never seen any sky as dark or any stars as bright as what I saw last night. Even the previous times I’d been out there at night, the stars weren’t so stark. The moon hadn’t yet risen last night when I was out last night and wouldn’t do so for several more hours, and there was very little humidity in the air, both of which contributed to that totally dark sky and the so very bright stars.

So many treats!

And that’s not all. Today, I’m spending the day by myself, and that too is a treat.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Happy Saturday the 14th!


Whew! We made it through another Friday the thirteenth! I hope you managed to hide from bad luck and dire deeds. I sure did.

To tell the truth, I have no particular opinion or fear about thirteen or Friday or Friday the thirteenth, though I do find a lot of irony associated with the avoidance of thirteen. For example, buildings with more than 13 floors don’t call the 13th floor the 13th floor, but instead skip the number and go directly to the 14th floor or call it 12A. It’s still the 13th floor, right? So do people simply fear the number rather than the actual floor? And if they fear the number, do they refuse to buy baker’s dozens of donuts or cookies? (Though perhaps that is dating me — I don’t think I’ve come across a baker’s dozen of anything in a long time.) And if it’s the number thirteen they fear, why is only Friday the thirteeth a fearful day? I realize it’s the conjunction of fateful Friday and the ominous number that causes friggatriskaidekaphobia, but still, for those with the simpler case of triskaidekaphobia, wouldn’t any thirteenth day of the month be cause for concern?

(Interesting side note — in many Spanish speaking countries, Tuesday the thirteenth is the unlucky day, so for them, the movie Friday the Thirteenth was renamed Tuesday the Thirteenth.)

If Friday the thirteenth were really an unlucky day as more than 20 million Americans believe, to be on the safe side, shouldn’t the calendar makers follow the example of builders and change all 13s that fall on a Friday to 14 or maybe even 12A? And speaking of calendars, our current calendar was not universally adopted in Europe until the eighteenth century. So is our current Friday the thirteenth the real Friday the thirteenth? Wouldn’t the day fall on other dates using other calendars?

Whether or not you believe that Friday the thirteenth is bad luck (and if you do, please forgive my levity), I hope you had a fearlessly wonderful day.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Do You Want to Live Forever?

I sure as heck don’t want to live forever! In fact, I so much don’t want to live forever that I don’t think about it. The only reason it’s on my mind now is that the title of this post was the blog prompt for today.

To be honest, I can’t think of anyone granted immortality who was pleased with the dubious gift. Of course, these “anyone”s who were granted such a gift are by nature fictitious, since as far as I know, there is no living creature who lives forever. Well, this is a certain jellyfish that can revert to an earlier stage of their lifecycle, which can keep them going forever. Amoebas are considered immortal because they divide in two and so the parent doesn’t die but exists as two daughter cells. And then there are prions . . .

Okay, so there are living things that live forever, but except for the case of a stray alchemist or two (such as the Count of St. Germaine who supposedly found the philosopher’s stone and so attained immortality) the only humans who have become immortal on Earth are fictional ones. And those stories seldom end well.

For example, a long time ago I heard a theory that humans were a sort of preternatural ape embryo that managed to continue developing without ever turning into an ape. To support their supposition, theorists pointed to such human characteristics as hairless bodies, wide-spaced eyes, large heads, and a tendency to play that extends far beyond childhood. A short story based on this theory featured a scientist who found a way to become immortal, and instead of having a great life, he was eventually discovered living as an aged ape in his basement. Apparently, he lived long enough so that he grew out of his embryonic state. Not a pleasant way to live forever!

Vampires live forever, but those fangs, red lips and pallid skin are so not a good look. Sleeping in a coffin and never seeing the sun seems like a recipe for a massive year-round case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. And that lust for blood? Let’s not even go there.

One of the biggest cautionary tales for not living forever is the movie Death Becomes Her. After being granted immortal life, both Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep do not heed the advice to take care of themselves, so they spend the rest of eternity trying to put themselves together. That’s enough to make a person shudder! (Except not really. This is the only role Meryl Streep ever did that I enjoyed.)

From a reader’s point of view, living forever would be untenable. Can you imagine reading a book that never ends? That goes on and on long after you got tired of what would soon become nothing but a series of insipid events? What a horrendously boring book that would be! Living an earthly life forever would be the same. Assuming, of course, that you could remain young and healthy and rich enough to keep yourself going century after century after century. Unless you were like the immortal jellyfish and could reset your cells back to an earlier time, you would grow older. And older. And older. And older. Ad infinitum. Eventually you would be too old to appreciate anything, would be ready to be shucked of your worthless body and decaying mind and would still find no surcease. And chances are, you’d get sick or break bones or get some sort of debilitating disease, and there would be no blessed release to your pain. Who knows, you might even end up in jail with a life sentence, and then, what a horror story that would be!

Even assuming that you managed to stay free and young and healthy and rich forever, then what? There would be no reason to do anything. As writers, we know how important a ticking clock is. Without a ticking clock to impel a character to solve the mystery or reach the end of a quest or whatever, there wouldn’t be much of a story. I imagine life without a ticking clock would be much the same. There’d be no reason to do anything. Of course, perhaps even for centuries, you could travel and learn and try all sorts of new experiences, and once that’s all done, then what? Eternal boredom?

Luckily, this is merely a rhetorical question, though millions, perhaps billions of dollars are being spent every year to unlock the mystery of mortality. Some scientists theorize that immortality was once the default state, and that death was “naturally selected for,” as they say, because apparently death conferred some sort of benefit on a species where individuals could die. (After all, evolution is not about a single organism but a species.)

Anyway, all that being said, would you want to live forever?


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Bad Feeling

Have you ever had a bad feeling about something and acted on it? I’m not talking about things like tests or job interviews or doctor’s appointments or first day at work or any of those things we have to do at some time or other despite a feeling of uneasiness. I’m not even talking about a premonition. Just an all-around bad feeling.

That happened to me yesterday. Just an all-around bad feeling about a meeting I was supposed to attend. I have no idea where the bad feeling came from. It’s possible I’ve been around people too much lately. Actually, that’s not just possible, but a fact. I have been around people too much lately, but still that’s no reason for the bad feeling. I’m a bit uneasy about having been exposed to The Bob, and although I’m sure the person who exposed me is past the contagious stage, it could still be something that set off the bad feeling. I’m also having my general winter coughing spells, which I prefer to have at home rather than in public. Luckily, I’m discovering that a cool mister helps. (Cool Mister? Sounds nickname for a romance hero!)

Now that I think about it, it’s all too probable the bad feeling comes from a falling barometer since I do tend to be affected by changes in atmospheric pressure. For example, when the barometric pressure drops, it creates a difference between the outside pressure and sinus pressure. Considering how problematic my sinuses are, the difference can, at the least, give me a bad feeling — not exactly sick, but not exactly tip top, either. Lower air pressure also exerts less pressure against the body, allowing tissues to expand, causing pain around joints. I’m not to that point yet, though I’m sure in the coming years I’ll become as much of a human barometer as anyone with aging joints.

Also, the falling barometric pressure indicates a coming storm, though there is no need for a barometer yesterday — I woke to sunny skies and still air, and by noon, dark clouds and high winds were the norm. I don’t like driving or being driven in storms, so I went with the bad feeling and backed out of my meeting.

As it turns out, the storm was overrated, just a sprinkling of snow, and nothing happened to the people who went to the meeting, though if I believed I’d had a premonition (which I don’t) and had a more mystical bent, I would think that my staying away was the equivalent of the flap of a butterfly wing that changed everyone’s fate from dire to favorable.

Still, whatever the reason for the bad feeling yesterday, for the first time ever, I went with my instincts and stayed home, reading and napping and enjoying a pleasant afternoon despite the low pressure outside and the higher pressure inside my head.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

What is Your Mission?

Today’s blog prompt is “What is your mission?” For a long time, my mission was to simply to deal with my grief after Jeff’s death. Anyone who has dealt with grief knows that it is a massive mission — at first, getting through the days, then learning to live with a big hole in your life, then eventually becoming the person who can perhaps thrive despite the loss. Because the horrendous pain was an experience I’d never encountered before in books or movies or other people, my mission expanded to telling the truth about this sort of all-encompassing grief, to let other grievers know they weren’t alone, that grief was normal. When my grief became more manageable, my mission changed to telling those who were still grieving long after others think they should have “moved on,” that they are doing exactly the right thing, and that someday they will get to where they need to be.

My grief mission has come to an end. I no longer have an interest in resurrecting my pain to talk about it, to explain it, to lay myself bare. In fact, I’m to the point where I can’t handle any sort of grief, even the second-hand kind. Compassion overload apparently is a real thing.

A few days ago, I wrote about being — or not being — a contender (I Coulda Been a Contender). It seems the gist of the blog is that I am missing a sense of mission. Since I don’t really know what a mission is (though I do know when one thrusts itself upon me), I had to look up the word.

A mission is “the ultimate goal or purpose toward which one strives; one’s reason or motivation to continue existing, operating, or working.” At the moment I have no goal, no motivation to continue existing except the most basic — to survive the day as best as I can, to glean whatever good I can find and to try to gracefully glide past anything that’s not so good.

Now that I think of it, that’s not a bad mission!

What’s your mission?


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Dry January

I had to laugh at the blog prompt WordPress left for me today: What could you do differently? Sheesh, that’s not much of a focused topic. Anyone could do anything differently. I think a more important question is: do you want to do anything differently? Or perhaps: how could you do something differently? Or even: if you want to do something differently, would it change anything?

At the moment, I am doing something differently, at least differently than I did last year. I’m doing a “Dry January.” A relative does this — she enjoys drinking, especially wine, and so she uses January as a time to reset her body. I hardly ever drink — in fact, I’ve gone decades without a single sip of alcohol — so my Dry January is about getting me off the sugar kick. I don’t know why it’s been so hard the past several months — I’ve gone for years without indulging in sugary treats. I have a hunch it’s more that I don’t care, at least not all the time. I go from wanting to do the best for my health to indulging my every whim no matter how unhealthy. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who can take a few bites of something — a cake for example — and stick the rest in the freezer for a later time. Nope. If it’s in the house, it’s fair game. (I know for a fact that frozen cake is almost as good as unfrozen cake!)

Surprisingly, so far, I haven’t had a problem with my Dry January. It helps that I stopped beating myself up over my lapses, being kind to myself and accepting of whatever I do. It’s not as if I commit crimes (alas, not even fictional ones lately), so the things I do that I don’t like are minor infractions of health parameters more than anything else. I mean, there’s not a whole lot of trouble a person can get into while reading, and I read most of the time.

Not giving in to sugar cravings does change things. For one thing, it gets rid of the cravings. For another, I have a little more energy. Since this has been a dry January weatherwise so far, the streets are finally clear, so yesterday I went for a walk. Admittedly, a mile-and-a-half walk is rather paltry compared to what I used to do, but it’s a heck of lot more than I have been doing lately. What surprised me more than anything is that I actually walked. Not trudged. Not plodded. Not dragged. Walked! Upright, moderately fast, with not a twinge in my knees. That sure felt good!

There are many other things I could do differently. Although I tend to be a person of habit, habits come and go. I ended up with a Magic Bullet my sister wanted to get rid of, and I might actually use it. I do have a blender that I never use, but this small blender might be fun. And it would be good to be able to add a few new flavors to my life. I’ve never been interested in things like smoothies, but they might be nice for a change. Also, I’m considering trying different things that can be made quickly with the Bullet, like carrot ginger soup or broccoli soup.

Or not. It might be too big a difference. Still, you never know. As I said at the beginning of this blog, anyone can do anything differently, even me.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.


I hardly ever read a whole book anymore. Too many authors use too many point-of-view characters, which to me is sort of a cheat. I know it’s supposed to ramp up the suspense when the reader knows that the antagonist is doing but protagonist doesn’t. Knowing that doesn’t help since it works the opposite for me. It takes me out of the story and makes me forget why I am supposed to care about the hero. So what do I do? Follow along with the protagonist and skip the villain’s story. That way I don’t have to get in the mind of reprehensible characters, and I get to read a one-person story. In all the hundreds of books I’ve read this way, I think there might have been a single book where I had to go back and look for a point that I missed; in all other cases, I understood the entire story. Which means that most authors write a huge amount of redundancy.

I think the book I just finished was the worst — there were a couple of villains each with their own point of view, a couple of heroes each with their own point of view, and a couple undetermined characters. (One started out a villain and turned out to be a hero; the other started out a hero and turned out to be a villain.) After I got tired of the whiplash from changing points of view every couple of pages (short chapters!), I finally gave up and only read the series character’s point of view. (After all, that’s why I picked up the book — I wanted the series character’s story.) That made it a very short book, but way more interesting than all the flopping around. (The only good thing was that he flipped back to the past just a couple of times. Even more annoying that authors who switch frenetically between multiple POV are authors who keep taking the reader to earlier happenings when a sentence or two of flash back would have been sufficient. I don’t read those previous-time parts of books, either.)

As a novelist, if I can still call myself that after my long hiatus of not writing, I prefer writing from a single straightforward timeline and a single point of view, though I have written a couple of books from multiple points of views. In A Spark of Heavenly Fire, for example, I thought the story of the epidemic (which was the true antagonist of the book) needed to be seen through more than one pair of eyes. After having lived through The Bob, I’m sure you can understand that — everyone has had a different experience with the disease, from getting no vaccines and not getting ill to getting jabbed multiple times and getting sick multiple times despite the vaccine; from no problems to the worst problem of all — death; from “sheltering in place” with a house full of people to having to spend months at home alone with no one to talk to. If I told the story of The Bob from my point of view, nothing would ever happen. If I told the story from the point of view of people who are still fighting problems years after getting sick, that would be a completely different story. As would the tale told from the point of view of a doctor, nurse, hospital official, or politician.

As in the case of A Spark of Heavenly Fire, sometimes a story has so many sides it needs to be told by many characters, but there are very few such stories. Most of the horde of multiple point-of-view characters is simply author style and adds very little to the story.

Unfortunately, my reducing the length of any book I read to a single point-of-view character means that I go through more than one book a day. Which means more trips to the library. Come to think of it, I’m not sure that’s so unfortunate. It gives me a chance to sample the weather in all its variety, and gives me a chance to wander around the library and even speak a few words to a real person.

I suppose I should feel bad for reducing the author’s efforts to something akin to a novella or a pamphlet, but then, they should feel bad for subjecting me to their verbosity.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Wolf Moon

The full moon we experienced on Friday is called the Wolf Moon because traditionally wolves howl at the moon at this time of year. As romantic as that sounds, the supposed reason for the howling is rather sad — they howl at the moon because they are hungry. Actually, they howl at other full moons, too, though perhaps they are not actually howling at any moon. They are crepuscular creatures, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk, and the Wolf Moon in January (at least it did this January) rises in the dusk. The howl is a social cry to rally other wolves to hunt; it’s also a territorial call. Because raising their heads makes the sound travel further, it makes it seem as if they are howling at the moon.

Whatever the truth of wolves and the moon, this full moon was supposed to be a powerful one. According to astrologists and spiritualists, the wolf moon is an emotionally charged one, signaling a time of change and introspection, a time to face our fears and trust our instincts, a time to use our inner strength and wisdom. It’s also a time to connect with the earth.

Whether the Wolf Moon means anything beyond its astronomic meaning — that it’s a micromoon, appearing smaller than a normal full moon because it takes place at the moon’s furthest point from the earth (252,146 miles away) — I decided to take action as a sign of female empowerment. So, as I walked home under the bright light of the moon, I howled.

Why howling at the full moon is supposed to be an empowering thing for women to do, I have no idea. I certainly didn’t feel any different yesterday or today. What was different is that as I walked home Friday evening, I was accompanied all the way by the howling of dogs. Apparently, I did make some sort of connection, with those dogs if not the earth.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

I Coulda Been a Contender

I was cleaning off my desk yesterday when I found notes for a blog post, including the famous line from On the Waterfront, “I coulda been a contender”. At first, I couldn’t figure out what I’d planned to say about that famous line, but eventually I remembered the circumstances and what I’d been thinking. Nothing inspiring, that’s for sure. In fact, the complete opposite.

For the past year or so, almost every night as I get ready for bed, I get hit with a sudden pang of loneliness. On one particular night, along with the loneliness came the feeling that I was wasting my life, that I wasn’t living up to my potential, and the words “I could have been a contender” kept playing in my head.

And then I had an even worse thought — what if I am living up to my potential? What if this is all there is to me? It made me wonder which was worse, knowing you could have been a contender, could have been someone if things had been different or knowing you never could have been a contender, that it simply wasn’t in you.

I really do tend to believe that we all do the best we can at any given moment, and if we feel as if we are slacking, then perhaps there are other factors at work besides a disinclination to do what we think we should be doing. I’ve often thought I was lazy, even back when I was a child. I remember being sick once, and not wanting to go to school. I was out for a long time because I kept “playing hooky.” I stayed in bed and read, and was quite content. I don’t know what made me finally agree to go back to school; the only other part of that episode I remember was that I didn’t get a report card because I’d been out of school for so long. Years later, I mentioned this to my mother. She looked at me in astonishment and said, “You weren’t faking. You really were sick.” I don’t know what I had — maybe a cold. When I get sick, even with something minor, it tends to linger for weeks or even months, which is why I try to stay away from potential risks.

In a way, what I was feeling a couple of weeks ago is similar. Obviously, if I really had been sick when I was a kid, I couldn’t have gone to school even if I wanted to. And now, at my age and with my knees, there are a lot of things I couldn’t do even if I wanted to, like hiking great distances (or even short distances on treacherous ground). Even more unfortunately, I never could find a way to become a bestselling writer — I am not a salesperson, and despite my best attempts, I have never been successful at selling my books.

Looking back a few weeks to when I was feeling bad about being — or not being — a contender, I now realize it was in the middle of December during the bleak time of frigid temperatures and little sun. Because I didn’t really feel depressed (despite the depressing thoughts), it never occurred to me that I was having my usual winter bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Luckily for my peace of mind, the feeling of wasting my life passed. Oh, it’s possible I really am not making full use of my life, but the sun is out, and we are back to our usual winter temperatures (highs in the forties, lows in the high teens and twenties), so it no longer seems to matter.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.