Greg Adams

Greg Adams is a social worker at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) where he coordinates the Center for Good Mourning, a grief support and outreach program, and works with bereavement support for staff who are exposed to suffering and loss. His past experience at ACH includes ten years in pediatric oncology and 9 years in pediatric palliative care. He has written for and edited The Mourning News, an electronic grief/loss newsletter, since its beginning in 2004. Greg is also an adjunct professor in the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Graduate School of Social Work where he teaches a grief/loss elective and students are told that while the class is elective, grief and loss are not. In 1985, Greg graduated from Baylor University majoring in social work and religion, and he earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Missouri in 1986. One answer to the question of how he got into the work of grief and death education is that his father was an educator and his mother grew up in the residence part of a funeral home where her father was a funeral director. After growing up in a couple small towns in Missouri south of St. Louis, Greg has lived in Little Rock since 1987. He married a Little Rock native in 1986 and his wife is an early childhood special educator and consultant. Together they have two adult children. Along with his experience in the hospital with death and dying and with working with grieving people of all ages, personal experiences with death and loss have been very impacting and influential. In 1988, Greg’s father-in-law died of an unexpected suicide. In 1996, Greg and his wife lost a child in mid-pregnancy to anencephaly (no brain developed). Greg’s mother died on hospice with cancer in 2008 and his father died after the family decided to stop the ventilator after a devastating episode of sepsis and pneumonia in 2015. Greg has a variety of interests and activities—including slow running, reading, sports, public education, religion, politics, and diversity issues—and is active in his church and community. He is honored to have the opportunity to be a contributor for Open to Hope.


Does Everything Happen ‘For a Reason’?

Does Everything Happen For a Reason? Somewhere in adolescence, certainly before young adulthood, I heard the saying, “everything happens for a reason.” It seems like I’ve always known this phrase. […]

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Feeling Sad or Being Sad?

Are We Feeling Sad or Being Sad? Do you ever hear a story or a comment that really stays with you? It hangs out in the back of your mind […]

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What Comes Next After Death?

The Next Place? Sometimes in grief support groups for adults or for teenagers, a question like this will be asked: “When you think about your special person who died, where […]

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Posttraumatic Growth? When Loss Has Meaning

Posttraumatic Growth is Possible “Nothing good comes from cancer. Nothing ever will.” I read those words written by a local newspaper columnist when I was working as a social worker […]

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Grieving Children, Teens Have All the Feelings

Grieving People Have All the Feelings Sometimes a death impacts a school or community organization, like a church or Boy Scout troop. A child or teacher dies, and I am […]

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Boycotting the Grief Olympics

Boycotting the Grief Olympics Mostly, we humans love comparisons and competition. Around the world, there are competitions going on all the time. Who bakes the best cake, spells the most […]

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Master Class in Helplessness: When a Child Gets Cancer

A Master Class in Helplessness I was talking with my wife not long ago, and I shared that I had been talking with someone the childhood cancer world. In my […]

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The Pros and Cons of Emotional Shields

‘Shields Up!’ What if the emotional shields we use to protect ourselves from pain get stuck in the upright position? What happens then? Can we get them unstuck? Is lowering […]

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After a Major Loss: So, Now What?

Many questions compete for attention when death comes and life changes. Among the many, there is at least one question that stubbornly remains as the numbness fades and our awareness […]

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No Freeway Between the Mind and the Heart

Sometimes I come upon a passage in a book that on its own feels worth the price of the book. Here is that passage in That Good Night: Life and […]

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