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Michelle Jarvie

Michelle Jarvie is an author, educator, and mentor from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She began her career in mediation and business analysis after obtaining a master’s in public policy. Within two years of graduation, she married and lost her husband, James, to a motor vehicle crash. While searching for hope and coping mechanisms, Michelle quit her job, learned how to remodel a house, and sought trauma and grief counseling. Sixteen months after her loss, she started volunteering to read with two fifth grade girls who desperately needed a dependable, caring adult in their lives. As a result of this opportunity, Michelle decided to pursue a teaching license in English education. Since graduation in 2011, she has been teaching creative writing, writers’ workshop, and global literature courses at the high school level. She also regularly speaks to large and small groups of teenagers about grief, depression, and moving forward (not “moving on”). She loves to bring in Star Trek stories and quotes about grief to supplement her own. Michelle remarried in June 2013 and, with her new husband Sean, is expecting her first child in February 2015. They love to travel leisurely, stop for great food, and philosophize about changing the world.

Articles:

opentohope articles

What Makes Sudden Death So Different?

It’s not just that we “didn’t get to say goodbye.” That common phrase, often associated with sudden death, is far too simplistic when unpacking the reality of completely unexpected deaths: […]

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A Young Widower’s Marathon, Part 2: Healing, Resilience and Dating

Andy Guice’s life forever changed when he met his wife. She uplifted and encouraged him in ways he’d never known. Then she underwent three rounds of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer […]

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A Young Widower’s Marathon, Part 1: Cancer and its Aftermath

The night of April 21, 2016, I opened my email and saw the following subject: “My dentist, Melanie, gave me your name as a fellow griever…” I thought back to […]

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My Second Chapter: Life, Marriage, Family

Many people ask me, What’s it really like being re-married? My widow(er) friends want to know if I’m as happy as I was in my first marriage, if I compare […]

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Lunch Date with Resilience: Sisu After Pregnancy Loss

  “I like the concept of Sisu: perseverance, guts, determination. But I also think that’s what gets me in trouble.” With family hailing from Finland, Sisu is a common household […]

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Lunch Date with Resilience: Not Everything Happens ‘For a Reason’

  “You can go two ways when you have a tragedy,” she began as she unrolled her white, pressed napkin. “You can be the victim, or you can change your […]

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Go Ahead, Judge Me for My Tattoos: How Memorial Tattoos Help

  “What an idiotic thing – to deface your own body,” an uncle said after I got my first tattoo. He wasn’t interested in the story behind it. Like many […]

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Blueprint for a Difficult Conversation: How to Stand Up for What You Need

In my last published article for OpenToHope, I shared the letter I wish I could’ve received after my husband was killed. It focused on validation and simplifying expectations for the […]

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A Letter to Myself (as a New Widow)

I’ve always been a planner. When I was 8, I had Christmas presents wrapped and cards made in July. When I was 14, I researched all of my college options. […]

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The Place of Transition: Finding Purpose After Loss

  The following is a sermon by Michelle D. Jarvie, written as a reflection on Isaiah 61 for an Advent Service of Remembrance and Hope.    “I wanted a perfect […]

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