News & Stories

June 4, 2024

New podcast interview - Good Grief Doula on griefsense pod!

I’m honored to share my interview on "griefsense" podcast! Chatting with Mimi was like connecting with a dear old friend - she facilitated a conversation full joy and vulnerability.

Together, we discuss:

- Why my grandparents encouraged my path to end-of-life service

- How the TV show "Dope Sick" brought new compassion to an old grief

Our shared insights as serial grievers

- How we can use creativity and especially music as an outlet for grief release

“griefsense is a podcast that holds space for dialogue around loss and confronting mortality through the lens of social justice, creative expression, and what it means to channel our grief to be present in life— tapping into our inner #griefsense in the process”

Tune in to discover how embracing grief can lead to unexpected gifts of inspiration and resilience:

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May 30, 2024

Key Takeaways from "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson

I'm a geek for systems of organization, and Margareta Magnusson's "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" is my favorite by far. Her tactful, relaxed process of tidying with end-of-life in mind can lead to a truly transformational relationship with one's belongings. I've helped others in downsizing and followed this system myself, and there is a real joy in organizing ones home so it is more accessible and easy to navigate. This process takes some work, but results in a deep sense of ease and peace of mind.

I like to return to this task annually, as the new year begins, and am always amazed by how much I have accumulated in a year. I save every card, letter, and ticket stub, so sorting through paper is an annual review of sorts. I like to set aside a quiet weekend to return my belongings to their homes, or mindfully pass them on to their next dwelling point, allowing any stagnant energy to move up and out. Having reacquainted myself with my belongings, I am reminded of accomplishments and happy memories, as well as projects and ways of being I've been holding onto that are no longer serving me. It is a contemplative and gentle process that brings a real lightness into our home.

I highly recommend you grab a copy of "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter" for yourself so you may experience enjoy Magnusson's philosophy and flair. And if you want to get started today, please check out my notes below!


·     In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning”

·     We are used to cleaning up AFTER ourselves, this is cleaning up BEFORE you are unable to

·     Death cleaning is a permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly

·     Magnusson recommends you approach Death Cleaning around age 65 (or sooner!) so your home is safer for you to live in and you still have the energy to do the work required

·     There is no timeline and work can go as slow or fast as you want it to!


1.  Tell your loved ones what you’re up to, they may want to be involved.

2.  Take your time, take breaks, rest, and recharge between categories or rooms; remember to enjoy your life!

3.  Don’t start with photos, letters, sentimental items, etc.... start with larger items then move to small.

4.  Consider beginning with storage: basement, attic, storage units, random cupboards where things you’ve forgotten you even own are stored.

5.  Ask yourself, “Will anyone I know be happier if I save this?” If the answer is no, let it go.

6.  Next, move to clothes. Only keep clothing that is your size, you believe you will wear again, or items for which the sentimental connection is strong. Create one pile for keep, one pile for giving away, one pile for mending or cleaning (and then go back and assess if you will really fix them; if not, get rid of them).

7.  Organize your home as you go so everything has a designated place it belongs and can be returned to after use. A tidy home will be easier for you to live in and simpler for your loved ones to navigate.

8.  Create a “Throw Away” box that includes personal letters, photos, sentimental items you wish to keep but which have no value to others and can simply be thrown away when you’re gone. You may also wish to create a DO NOT OPEN box of personal items and tell a trusted person to toss it without opening.

9. Celebrate the gift you are giving the planet and your constellation of loved ones by mindfully parting with your belongings!

Where Will My Things Go?

It’s entirely up to you! Some suggestions:

·     Ask if anyone wants or needs the items you are letting go of. Magnusson recommends starting with loved ones, neighbors, friends, or community organizations asking for donations.

·     Slowly, unobtrusively gift by giving beautiful, useful items to friends each time they visit.

·     Rather than buying a gift when invited to a friend’s, bring them something from your collection!

·     If you own items of value, an auctioneer can help with appraisal and sales of items at auction in exchange for a percentage of sales. You may also wish to sell items to antique shops, secondhand stores, etc.

·     Leave notes on items left in your home (i.e., leave a piece of tape under the kitchen table that includes the name and contact info of person you’d like to receive the table, post mortem).

·     Consider selling your home with furniture included.

·     Organize a clothing swap with friends. This is a really fun hang, and my primary source of new clothing for the past few years. Send me a message for more info!

·     The New Yorker's "A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything" covers a lot of great modern options for transferring belongings!

Are you interested in trying Swedish Death Cleaning in your home? Get support from Good Grief Doula by scheduling a FREE consultation here.

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May 6, 2024

Dementia Care Resources

It is no secret that dementia is a topic that is near and dear to me. Throughout my experience of navigating my dad John's journey with behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration and ALS, and my grandma Jackie's progression with Alzheimer’s, I've leaned on A LOT of helpful resources for dementia education and support.

In preparation for the upcoming Forget Me Not Dementia Care & Resources panel at the Altadena Library May 23rd, I'm sharing some of my favorite spaces online for actionable advice, community, and on-going education on these topics. This is a living document, and one I will continue to add to over time - you may access this document HERE.

From my training as a hospice volunteer, an assisted living employee and seated exercise instructor, and my experience as a grief educator and End-of-Life doula, I've discovered so many helpful people and approaches for living with and caregiving for folks with dementia. You are not alone.

Please reach out with any questions and/or suggestions for resources to add to this list. Together, we can harness the transformative power of grief for good!

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April 19, 2024

Pre-Father’s Day Grief Release - June 2 in Los Angeles

This workshop is designed to help make grief around Father’s Day a little bit easier. Join Postal Service for the Dead and Good Grief Doula for gently-guided, lighthearted grief practices for navigating the holiday. 

This two-hour workshop will begin with play, movement, and Laughter Yoga, continue to visual art-making, and end with a letter-writing ritual. Participants will connect with embodied play and the expressive arts as tools for approaching grief and experiencing catharsis. No prior comedy, performance, or artmaking experience required! 

If you’ve experienced father loss, estrangement, loss of father figure(s), loss of identity due to child loss or infertility, or anticipatory grief as Father’s Day approaches, this workshop is for you! While we each have unique stories around loss and grief, we can all share in the common language of laughter and healing community.

Learn more and register here:

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April 5, 2024

Loving-kindness for dementia and cognitive change

Please join me for a Loving-kindness meditation for dementia and cognitive change. Loving-kindness meditation, or "Metta" as it is known in Buddhist Pali language, is a time-honored practice for cultivating feelings of love, connection, equanimity, and acceptance of the things we cannot change.

I decided to create this meditation due to lived experience teaching seated exercise to folks with dementia, caregiving for my dad, John, who had frontotemporal degeneration or FTD until his death in 2017 and my mom’s mom, Grandma Jackie, who lived with Alzheimer’s until 2021. One year after my grandma’s death, I myself sat in a neurologist’s office, reviewing MRI’s as I was diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis or MS.

I share all of this to demonstrate that I deeply understand changes in the brain. I also know that the dominant narrative around cognitive change is one of trauma and fear, and that this attitude can serve to dehumanize, isolate, and incite a lot of anxiety for caregivers and folks such as myself who are living, or anticipate living with cognitive change.

If you can relate, I assure you – You are not broken, you are worthy of respect, kindness, and life-long dignity. From my brain to yours, I can think of no more worthy practice than to consciously cultivate, again and again, loving-kindness for our loved ones, our communities, and ourselves.

The following is a transcript of the meditation (see below for the video of the guided meditation):

And so, let’s begin our practice by finding a comfortable position and turning down the volume in our bodies and our minds. I invite you to close your eyes if that is comfortable for you and to feel the weight of gravity hugging you to your seat. Allow your breath to slow down, inhaling and exhaling, not needing to change anything. If it feels good to you, you may wish to place a hand over your heart, a gesture of loving care.

I invite you now to call to mind someone with whom you have an uncomplicated relationship. They may be a child or a pet, or someone you love or deeply respect, but do not know personally. I like to imagine my niece – it’s just an instant *snap* connection to positivity. The idea is to simply visualize this being and allow the easy feelings of admiration and loving-kindess to begin to flow as you direct the following phrases towards them.

May you be filled with loving-kindness.May you be well. May you be peaceful, and at ease. May you be happy.

If you’d like, you may come up with your own phrases to send this person, repeating the phrases, showering this being with love, and radiating good intentions their way.

May you accept yourself just as you are. May you enjoy laughter and creativity. May you be treated with love, respect, and dignity. May your hopes be realized. May you be free from fear and physical pain.

As you recall this person, feel what it’s like to wish them well and allow that feeling to expand. Recognize that you truly do want them to be happy, and in wishing them well, you yourself are experiencing joy at the possibility of their happiness.

May you be filled with loving-kindness.May you be well. May you be peaceful, and at ease. May you be happy.

Moving on from this person with whom you find ease of connection to someone neutral now. Perhaps someone you don’t know very well, a cashier or someone whose path you crossed recently, someone whose health status you are completely unaware of, and you don’t have any particularly strong feelings towards.

Conjure an image of this person in your mind and feel what it’s like to wish them well.

May you be filled with loving-kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful, and at ease. May you be happy.

Repeating these or your own phrases, recognize that you truly want them to be happy. Focus on the feeling that is generated when wishing them happiness.

May you accept yourself just as you are. May you enjoy laughter and creativity. May you be treated with love, respect, and dignity. May your hopes be realized. May you be free from fear and physical pain.

May you be filled with loving-kindness.May you be well. May you be peaceful, and at ease. May you be happy.

Now spreading this feeling of loving-kindness, allowing the feeling to grow and expand, and opening to the possibility that someone, somewhere may be wishing you that same loving-kindness, and begin to include yourself in the well-wishing.

May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be well. May I be peaceful, and at ease. May I be happy. May I accept myself just as I am. May I enjoy laughter and creativity. May I be treated with love, respect, and dignity. May my hopes be realized. May I be free from fear and physical pain.

Repeating these phrases or whatever feels most potent for you, see how it feels to cultivate self-compassion and love in this way.

May I be filled with loving-kindness.May I be well. May I be peaceful, and at ease. May I be happy.

Whatever it is you need to hear today, grant yourself the compassion to say it now, hand on heart, and to really feel it.

Finally, we’ll expand our practice to include all beings, consciously calling in all of humanity and our natural world and wishing it well. Let’s spread this feeling of loving-kindess, a wide web, to our communities and beyond.

May we be filled with loving-kindness.May we be well. May we be peaceful, and at ease. May we be happy. May we accept ourselves just as we are. May we enjoy laughter and creativity. May we be treated with love, respect, and dignity. May our hopes be realized. May we be free from fear and physical pain.

Recognizing that we’re all in this together, take one more moment to spread loving-kindness and compassion to all.

May we be filled with loving-kindness. May we be well. May we be peaceful, and at ease. May we be happy.

Allowing these well-wishes to reverberate within and throughout the world, let’s return to our breath. 

Breathing in – may the benefits of my practice be supportive to myself

And exhaling – may the benefits of my practice be a gift to our world

Together, we can harness the transformative power of grief for good. Thank you for your practice today.

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March 7, 2024

Untangling Grief - a Guided Meditation

Untangling and Releasing Grief is a 17-minute guided meditation designed to gently guide you through the process of untangling the complex web of emotions associated with grief. May this meditation be a compassionate exploration of your emotions, creating spaciousness within to foster release and experience catharsis.

In the meditation, you'll visualize the emotions as distinct threads, each representing a unique aspect of your grief. With each breath, you'll be guided to untangle the threads of sadness, anger, guilt, and longing, gently unraveling the emotional knots that may have taken root within you.

I invite you to take a moment to honor your emotions and recognize the strength it takes to navigate grief. As you emerge from this guided meditation, may you carry this healing energy forward, impacting all who cross your path.

YOU are a good grief doula when you take time to check in with yourself and your grief - if only for a moment.

Music by Christopher Sousa

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