Carolyn Healy

Carolyn B. Healy is a therapist-turned-writer who has witnessed the grief journeys of many clients, friends, and loved ones. Her viewpoint is informed by her own experience of losing her father when she was two years old and growing up in a grieving household. "In my experience, grief comes in waves," she says, "not in predictable stages. It challenges us like almost nothing else to find our strength and figure out our own particular way to see it through." Carolyn is a guide, a questioner, a collector of new ideas, and gatherer of memories, the raw materials of effective grieving. She challenges the conventional wisdom that we all grieve alike, and have to hit the same benchmarks. “There are many ways to grieve,” she says, “according to our own personalities, beliefs, and inclinations. So many people have come to see me over the years afraid that they are flunking Grief 101, because they’ve been told that they are either too emotional or not emotional enough, going too fast or too slow. I had to step up and say that there is no one way to do this.” A lifelong Chicagoan, she grew up the only child of a single mom, which fueled her curiosity about how other people live, and strengthened her backbone. After a long career as a therapist specializing in grief, addictions treatment, and personal narrative approaches, she began writing to share what she has learned. She has been a columnist for her local newspaper, runs a grief blog, and is now writing a book on finding the hidden gifts in grieving. She has also written three guided journals; and a guide to writing a legacy letter/ethical will, a way to share life lessons, values, and stories with loved ones. Carolyn blogs at where she takes a sometimes serious, sometimes light-hearted approach to life’s challenges and absurdities. Her grief website is


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