Greg Adams

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 young adult children—a son in college and a daughter working in-between college and graduate school. 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.

Articles:

No Outsourcing the ‘Why’ in Grief

We are possessed by words. We are wordy creatures. We talk, write, text, sing, shout, and whisper words…all the time. We ponder what we said, what they said, and what […]

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Celebrations of Life, Funerals, and the Need for Ritual

  When I was growing up and someone died, we spent a lot of time at the funeral home. Between the ages of 10 and 12, both of my maternal […]

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Embracing Helplessness

Part of me doesn’t want to write about this—feeling and being helpless. Among the feelings I experience on a regular basis, it is one of the least favorite and possibly […]

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Death as Teacher

  Death is thought of in many ways. As an (or the) enemy or as a sad and tragic reality. Sometimes as an essential part of the natural cycle of […]

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No Choice, Some Choices, and ‘Choosement’

  A friend was in a horrible car crash about a year and half ago. The car was damaged beyond repair, he was left with lifetime health consequences, and most […]

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You Can’t Unfriend the Dead

  Not too long ago, I attended a presentation on grieving in a social-media world. Like so many things with social media, there is good news and bad news. The […]

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Grief is Wild

  I recently came across an article with the title “Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Cat.” The idea presented is that domestic cats are actually only partially domesticated. From a […]

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Strong Back, Soft Front: Staying Open to Emotion

“Every man is for himself, on that you can rely You’ll have to hide behind a shield to stay alive.” David Roth The Armor Song  How do we envision life—what […]

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Saying ‘No’ to Holiday Traditions is OK After a Loss

For many of us, for much of the time, it is hard to say “no.” Even when we’re busy, even when we’re tired, even when it’s something we really don’t […]

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Let’s Talk About ‘Closure’

Let’s talk about “closure,” that thing we search for but never fully find after someone dies. We really hope to find it, and the need for it is deeply felt. […]

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