The Grief Relief Show’s 33rd episode features Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewing Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed on surviving a crisis. Cassedy is a lawyer who’s been in mediation and law for 30 years, and has her own private judging practice in Silicon Valley. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Sofia University as well as in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University. After losing two nephews as well as her son, Timothy Sullivan, she’s found that spirituality has been the greatest blessing. Her son died unexpectedly in 2010 during a skateboarding accident.

Freed has a master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology and Spiritual Guidance from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She wrote Is: Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed and works with clients in the San Francisco area at the Entelechy Wellness Center. For both women, spirituality and the questioning of faith has played a big role in processing their grief. Cassedy recalls when she lost her nephew, it shook her that a child she knew and loved could die at such a young age (11).

A Spiritual Rock

Cassedy’s nephew died of cancer, then a few years later another of her other nephews committed suicide by hanging himself at age 15. She had a strong belief in the afterlife, and by the time Cassedy lost her son that belief had solidified, giving her comfort knowing that her son was happy in the next life. She has three key pieces of advice for those grieving: Know that every grief is unique, take comfort when and how you can, and allow your grief to unfold.

Freed specializes in teaching people how to move in and out of grief, which is a learned skill. Her tips? Surrender and lighten up, love yourself first and express gratitude. It takes time, but an entire life consumed by grief isn’t helpful to anyone.


Sherry Cassedy

Sherry Cassedy has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA ( Ms. Cassedy has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), and in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University. Ms. Cassedy, MA, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and Certificate in Spiritual Guidance, offers spiritual guidance, yoga instruction and seasonal retreats on spiritual topics. Sherry is a passionate student of yoga philosophy and other spiritual teachings, which she incorporates into her yin and restorative yoga classes. She is also a licensed minister and works with couples in preparing and officiating marriage ceremonies. Sherry has been married to Matthew Sullivan, PhD for almost 35 years and they have three children, Tyler Sullivan, Cassedy Sullivan and Timothy Sullivan (Deceased 2010). Sherry lives in Santa Cruz, CA where she teaches and writes.

More Articles Written by Sherry