Heidi Gessner

Heidi Gessner, MDiv, BCC, BCC, is an Ordained United Church of Christ Minister who serves as the palliative care chaplain and bereavement coordinator of University of North Carolina Hospitals, a level one trauma center. As the bereavement coordinator, her main priority is connecting with the family members who have had a loved one die in the hospital. Her specialty is connecting with these family members, staff, as well as community members, and helping them feel they are not alone. For in her deepest suffering after her father died, she experienced the presence of Love. She was so overwhelmed by this sense of a benevolent Presence, it changed the course of her life. The awareness of being cared for and connected to something bigger came suddenly, and helped her want to share this feeling with others. Heidi is also a certified life coach, who creatively cultivates hope, nurtures growth, and encourages people to be good stewards of their grief, and to learn from it when they are ready. She helps them harness the transformational power of loss to become their wisest and most compassionate selves. Heidi is also a wedding officiant at heidigessner.com


Four Things that Helped Me When my Friend, Sarah, Died

“If I had a flower or every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever.” — Alfred Tennyson “I have some sad news about my sister […]

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5 Ways to Get Through the Holidays (When You’re Not Feeling Ho Ho Hopeful)

Holidays can be difficult when someone you love has died. Or you’ve lost your job. Or an important relationship has ended. Or if you’re not sure of your purpose. Or […]

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Don’t the Dead Take their Time Leaving?

After my father died, I became fascinated about where he went. Someone came to take his body out of our house and to a funeral home. He was cremated and […]

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Open to  hope

Father’s Death Helps Woman Find God and Vocation

I am the Palliative Care Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator for The University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My interest in working with the dying and bereaved […]

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