As both a bereaved parent and a bereaved child, I've focused my clinical practice on issues of grief, loss and transition for more than 40 years. I joined Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona as a bereavement counselor in 1996, and for ten years served as moderator for its innovative online Grief Healing Discussion Groups, until ownership of the site was returned to me in October, 2013. A frequent contributor to healthcare journals, newsletters, books and magazines, I am the author of Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year: Second Edition, The Final Farewell: Preparing for and Mourning the Loss of Your Pet, and Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping. I've also written a number of booklets for Hospice of the Valley including Explaining the Funeral /Memorial Service to Your Children and Helping Another in Grief, as well as monthly columns, e-books and online e-mail courses for Self-Healing Expressions, addressing various aspects of grief and loss. In addition, I'm a contributing writer for Open to Hope.
With my special interest in grief and the human-animal bond, I facilitated a pet loss support group for bereaved animal lovers in Phoenix for 15 years, and still serve as consultant to the Pet Loss Support Group at Hospice of the Valley and to the Halton-Peel Pet Loss Support Group in Ontario, Canada.
On the Internet since January, 2000, my Grief Healing Web site offers information, comfort and support to anyone who is anticipating or mourning the loss of a loved one, whether that is a person or a cherished companion animal. My Grief Healing Blog also offers useful information on care giving, grief and transition. I am certified as a Fellow in Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement) by the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and as a Distance Credentialed Counselor by the Center for Credentialing and Education.
I am blessed to be the mother of two awesome, handsome sons, and the grandmother of two darling boys, two precious little girls and a number of dogs, cats, birds and bunnies. After living and working for several years in Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Arizona, my husband Michael and I have now settled into a lovely little villa we are renovating in Sarasota, Florida. For 15 years we shared our home with Beringer, our beloved Tibetan terrier, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on August 22, 2011. Read more of my personal story here: A Message from Marty Tousley.