Marty Tousley

As both a bereaved parent and a bereaved daughter herself, Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC has focused her practice on issues of grief, loss and transition for more than 40 years. She joined Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ as a Bereavement Counselor in 1996, and for ten years served as moderator for its innovative online grief support forums. She obtained sole ownership of the Grief Healing Discussion Groups in October, 2013, where she continues to serve as moderator. A frequent contributor to health care journals, newsletters, books and magazines, she is the author of Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year: Second Edition, The Final Farewell: Preparing for and Mourning the Loss of Your Pet, and Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping. She has written a number of booklets for Hospice of the Valley including Explaining the Funeral /Memorial Service to Your Children and Helping Another in Grief, as well as monthly columns, e-books and online e-mail courses for Self-Healing Expressions, addressing various aspects of grief and loss. With her special interest in grief and the human-animal bond, Marty facilitated a pet loss support group for bereaved animal lovers in Phoenix for 15 years, and now serves as consultant to the Pet Loss Support Group at Hospice of the Valley and to the Ontario Pet Loss Support Group in Ontario, Canada. Her work in pet loss and bereavement has been featured in the pages of Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, The East Valley Tribune, Arizona Veterinary News, Hospice Horizons, The Forum (ADEC Newsletter), The AAB Newsletter, Dog Fancy Magazine, Cat Fancy Magazine, Woof Magazine and Pet Life Magazine. Marty’s Grief Healing website and blog offer information, comfort and support to anyone who is anticipating or mourning the loss of a loved one, whether a person or a cherished companion animal. She is certified as a Fellow in Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement) by the Association for Death Education and Counseling, as a Distance Credentialed Counselor by the Center for Credentialing and Education, and as a Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Practice by the American Nurses Association. Marty and her husband Michael have two grown sons and four grandchildren. They spend their winters in Scottsdale, AZ and Sarasota, FL, and enjoy their summers in Traverse City, MI. Marty welcomes reader questions and comments, and can be contacted at [email protected] or through her Web sites, at,, and


Tragedy in Orlando, Collective Grief and Aftershocks of Loss, 13 Jun 2016

In Bereavement, Differences Matter, 05 Nov 2013

Teen Questions Reaction to Her Parent’s Death, 18 Feb 2013

Grief and Sexuality, 05 Nov 2012

Teen Mourns the Death of Her Best Friend, 27 Apr 2012

Pet Cremation Mistake: Breaking the Bad News, 27 Mar 2012

Death of An Ex-Spouse, 22 Feb 2012

‘I Can’t Tell Them I’m Dying’, 05 Jan 2012

Dealing with Special Days: Anniversaries, Birthdays and Holidays, 06 Dec 2011

Transitions: How to Recapture the ‘Drive’, 26 Oct 2011

Did My Cat Go to Heaven?, 01 Oct 2011

Coping with Anxiety in Grief, 23 Jul 2011

Starting a Support Group in a Small Town, 07 Jul 2011

Is My Widowed Mother ‘Moving On’ Too Soon?, 29 Jun 2011

Widow Fears Sharing Thoughts of Suicide, 17 May 2011

Grief Support Group Didn’t Help – Now What?, 16 Apr 2011

Does Widower’s Behavior Indicate Unresolved Grief?, 13 Mar 2011

Supporting a Bereaved Parent, From a Distance, 22 Feb 2011

A New Year and the Burden of Guilt, 01 Jan 2011

Coping with ‘Shutdown Spells’ in Grief, 07 Dec 2010

Daughter Feels Little Support for Mother Loss, 22 Oct 2010

Explaining Grandmother’s Death to a Toddler, 15 Sep 2010

Using Antidepressant Medication in Grief, 09 Aug 2010

When the Griever is a Health-Care Professional, 14 Jul 2010

Bereaved Aunt Asks, ‘Where Do I Fit In?’, 22 Jun 2010

The Power of Remembering: Grandfather’s Pipe, 18 May 2010

Persistent Dreams in Grief, 10 Mar 2010

Daughter Wants to Help Mom after Death of Beloved Dog, 11 Feb 2010

Is Divorce Worthy of Grief?, 09 Jan 2010

Healing Grief through the Gift of Volunteering, 05 Dec 2009

When Grieving an Abandonment, 07 Nov 2009

Can We Ever ‘Accept’ Death of Loved One?, 08 Oct 2009

Parental Grief in the Wake of Homicide, 02 Sep 2009

‘Distance Counseling’: What is It, How Does it Work?, 21 Aug 2009

Helping Grandchildren with Pet Loss, 26 Jun 2009

Coping as You Anticipate a Loss, 02 Jun 2009

Can’t Think of Mom Without Crying, 22 May 2009

When Your Companion Animal is Missing, 04 May 2009

Dealing With the Death of an Abusive Mother, 04 May 2009

Finding Grief Support Online, 14 Apr 2009

Woman Nervous About Dating Widower, 27 Feb 2009

Widow-to-Be Thinking Beyond Husband’s Death, 26 Feb 2009

Grief Rituals Can Help on Valentine’s Day, 12 Feb 2009