From Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul


Sandy Allinder received her associate of arts degree from Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Alabama, in 1992 and her bachelor of science degree from the University of Montevallo, Alabama, in December 1994. She currently teaches fifth grade at Hayden Middle School in Blount County, Alabama. Please reach her at [email protected]

Barbara Bergen is a former history teacher who retired in 1996 to become a writer. Her writings have appeared in Unity Magazine and Daily Word Prayer Journal. She creates and sells inspirational cards, bookmarks and books. Other interests include photography, travel and collecting quotes. Please reach her at [email protected]

Mike Bergen worked as a sports correspondent for the Atlantic City Press and several local radio stations while attending Stockton State College. Today he is the vice president of a large millwork supplier in Vineland, New Jersey. A research fund has been established in Mikey’s memory at the Medical College of Virginia. Contributions can be sent to: MCV Foundation—Michael W. Bergen Fund, P.O. Box 980234, Richmond, VA 23298.

Janelle M. Breese Biagioni lives with her family in Victoria, British Columbia. She has written several books, including Head Injuries: The Silent Epidemic (NC Press, 1995), a personal accounting following her husband’s police motorcycle accident in which he sustained a severe brain injury. For more information on Janelle, please view her Web site at

Linda Bremner is a mother and grandmother, although her business card reads, “Founder and Executive Director” of Love Letters, Inc. At fifty-five, she has been involved with the art community, especially paper crafts, for over thirty-five years. She has had several articles published and is also a lecturer and motivational speaker. To make a tax-deductible contribution to Love Letters, Inc., or to find out about volunteering, please contact Linda at: P.O. Box 416875, Chicago, IL 60641 or at the Web site

Connie Sturm Cameron is a freelance writer who resides in Glenford, Ohio, with her husband, Chuck, and two teenagers, Chase and Chelsea. She has been published in several periodicals, including Reader’s Digest and The Upper Room. You may contact her at P.O. Box 30, Glenford, OH 43739 or e-mail [email protected]

Kevin D. Catton has remarried and, with his wife Jeri-Lynn, operates The Log House Bed & Breakfast on fifty forested acres in St. Jacobs, Amish Country, about an hour west of Toronto. Visit them at or e-mail [email protected]

Hana Haatainen Caye is a freelance writer and an independent contractor, working as a certified business consultant, inspector, auditor, investigator and actress. She is married with two daughters (ages eighteen and twenty) and enjoys studying her Bible, gardening, horseback riding, entertaining, decorating and caring for her menagerie of pets. She has published poetry and magazine articles and is currently working on several children’s books. She won an award for her writing in 1975.

Candy Chand, along with Kathleen Treanor, is the author of the book, Ashley’s Garden, available in bookstores nationwide.

Jo Coudert is a freelance writer, a frequent contributor to Woman’s Day and the author of eight books, among them the bestselling Advice from a Failure and Seven Cats and the Art of Living. She lives on the bank of a small river in western New Jersey, where she gardens and paints.

Robert P. Curry is a graduate of Eastern Washington University and works for the Department of the Navy. He spent four years in Japan while in the United States Marine Corps. Robert enjoys writing and spending time with his teenage daughter. He is currently working on a children’s book and inspirational novel. Please reach him at [email protected]

Amanda Dodson is a full-time mother to two beautiful children, Grace and Garrett. She is a freelance writer and is at work on her first children’s book.

Dr. Ken Druck, founder and executive director of The Jenna Druck Foundation in San Diego, California, is an author (How to Talk to Your Kids About School Violence and The Secrets Men Keep), consulting psychologist and inspirational speaker. The Foundation’s Families Helping Families program ( offers free programs and services to families who have experienced the death of a child. Dr. Druck has been working extensively in New York with fire department and civilian families who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Kara L. Dutchover lives in Oregon with her husband of twenty-one years, Hank, and their three children. She credits the sweet chaos of family life, ornery pets and a loving God for any truth or power in her writing.

Aaron Espy, firefighter/paramedic, is a twenty-one-year fire service veteran. He has authored a book of firehouse poetry titled, Standing in the Gap, a 911 column for the Scripps-Howard West Sound Sun, and numerous inspirational articles. He can be reached at [email protected]

Janice Finnell is a freelance writer and winner of a Lowell Thomas Award for exceptional journalism. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Ian, and two sons, Gabe, three, and D.J., one. Janice is currently working on her first book, a middle-grade novel. She can be reached at [email protected]

Michael Gartner, principal owner of the Iowa Cubs baseball team, has been the editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

Dianne Gill is a writer for Woman’s World magazine. She has two grown children and resides in Long Island, New York, with her husband, Steve. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, photography, and entertaining family and friends. She feels honored to have written so many human-interest stories about people who have persevered in the face of challenge. Her e-mail address is [email protected]

Gloria Givens is a California freelance journalist published in both magazines and newspapers. Her husband, Ken, died after forty-two years of marriage, so her writing reflects life experiences and her faith in a better tomorrow. She enjoys camping with her four children, eight grandchildren, friends and pets. E-mail: [email protected]

Linda Webb Gustafson finds inspiration for stories from her life experiences in Village Missions, where she ministers with her husband, David, and children, Shiloah and Joshua, in Skamania, Washington. Her work has been included in two national Christian publications and community newspapers such as the award-winning Cannon Beach Gazette. You can e-mail Linda at [email protected] or write her at P.O. Box 443, North Bonneville, WA 98639. Her phone number is 509-427-8517.

Ruth Hancock has been published in magazines, hospice journals, books, including Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul, and newspapers writing short stories based on her life and interests. They include hospice volunteer, wife of an Episcopal priest, mother, a long career in the fashion industry as a model, fashion director and commentator, and as a dedicated Christian. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

Emily Sue Harvey’s upbeat stories appear in women’s magazines, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit, Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul publications and in the anthology, From Eulogy to Joy. Her current project is a fictional novel about the struggles of an all-too-human preacher’s family, entitled God Only Knows. Please contact her at 864-879-2733 or e-mail [email protected]

Joyce A. Harvey is a motivational and inspirational speaker, trainer, facilitator and writer. Watch for her forthcoming books: Swan Lessons, the story of her journey through grief; I’m Fine—I’m with the Angels, an illustrated children’s book on dying and life after death; and Traveling Swan Lessons: Mystical and Magical Road Stories, a collection of her magical encounters while traveling. For further information about Ms. Harvey or to schedule her for a presentation, please contact her at P.O. Box 160, Sylvania, OH 43560. Fax: 419-885-9469. E-mail: [email protected]

Bill Heavey is a freelance writer in Arlington, Virginia, who writes about people, travel, food, the outdoors and other things that move him. He can be reached at [email protected]

Nina A. Henry is the devoted mother of two sons, Adam and Ryan. Her oldest son, Adam, died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1996. She and her husband, Charles, are founding members of the Peace Valley Chapter of Compassionate Friends located in New Britain, Pennsylvania. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Stephanie Hesse became a bereaved parent in 1994 when twenty-seven-year-old Linda died. She, Peter and Carol miss Linda immensely. Stephanie is an active member of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for grieving families. She is a retired reading teacher who, as a volunteer, teaches reading skills to third-graders. Stephanie lives in Chestnut Ridge, New York, and Singer Island, Florida.

Dawn Holt is currently a school counselor at Westover High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, fulfilling her son Cameron’s last wishes that he not be forgotten and that she come back to his high school to make a difference in the lives of the students. After giving the chocolate-covered cherries story to family and friends in December 1998, they encouraged her to submit the story to Chicken Soup for the Soul. She still makes the box of candy her annual gift to them. Please e-mail Dawn at [email protected]

Bill Holton is a freelance writer living in Gainesville, Florida. He can be reached at [email protected]

Ann Hood is the author of seven novels including Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, Places to Stay at Night and Ruby, and one non-fiction book, Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles in a Cynical Time. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Her story, “Missing Pa,” originally appeared in Parenting Magazine.

Molly Bruce Jacobs practiced corporate law prior to becoming a full-time writer. She has published short stories and essays in numerous literary journals and popular magazines. Originally from Maryland, she now lives outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is writing a non-fiction book. You may reach her at [email protected]

Bil Keane created The Family Circus in 1960 and gathered most of his ideas from his own family: wife Thel and their five children. Now read by an estimated 188 million people daily, nine grandchildren provide much of the inspiration for the award-winning feature. Web site:

Cynthia G. Kelley’s poem was published in the January 1988 issue of Bereavement magazine. Bereavement, a magazine of hope and healing is dedicated to serving those who are grieving the death of a loved one. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, their toll-free phone number is 888-604-4673 and their Web page is

Natalie “Paige” Kelly-Lunceford is a mother, grandmother and foster mother. She lives in a quiet rural area of Virginia with her husband of twenty-four years, Tracy. She enjoys children and has taken in more than thirty over the last thirteen years, in addition to having four children and two grandchildren of her own. She enjoys reading and writing short articles and poems. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Barb Kerr wrote this story in memory of her nephew, Joe Goodfellow. She has two sons, Matthew and Shawn, a niece, Heather and two nephews Edward and Chris. She loves celebrating life with them all. She is a certified financial planner in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. You may reach her at [email protected]

Ed and Sandra Kervin reside in Albion, Maine. Both are active volunteers for the Hospice Volunteers Organization. As they continue their journey through life as grieving parents, they have refocused their efforts on their surviving children, Lori and Adam. Even in death, their son and brother, Jarod, continues to have a positive effect on others, as evidenced by their contribution to this book and the work they continue to do with Suicide Education. They can be reached at [email protected]

Monica Kiernan received her B.A. in health education and certification in physical therapy from California State University, Northridge in 1992. She now practices in New Hampshire where she resides with her husband. Jack, and their son, Jackson, and daughter, Kelsea, who continue to amuse, delight and inspire her each day.

Ferne Kirshenbaum was a wife, mother, grandmother and high-school English teacher. She died of ovarian cancer in 1998.

Allen Klein’s story, “Two Answers to One Prayer,” is from his book, The Courage to Laugh. He is an award-winning professional speaker, as well as the author of The Healing Power of Humor. Reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on his Web site at

Kathie Kroot lives with her family in Kentucky. She remains an active volunteer in her children’s school and at her synagogues. She continues to promote organ donation, especially within the Jewish community. You can read her articles on the subject at You can reach her at [email protected]

Kelly E. Kyburz and her husband, Jeff, live in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, with their three daughters and two sons. They are both majors in the U.S. Army Reserve. Kelly graduated from Loyola College (Baltimore) with a degree in finance and earned an M.B.A. from Indiana University. Her sister, LTC Kathy Gilmartin, graduated from West Point and is currently serving in the U.S. Army. Her brother, Chris Cain, is living his dream as a firefighter in Maryland. Their parents, John and Marcella Cain, were happily married for thirty-six years. E-mail Kelly at [email protected]

Richard Lepinsky became a bereaved parent in May 1991 when son Nathan died of viral pneumonia. He became involved in The Compassionate Friends, a bereaved parent support group. Richard is a former business owner and vice president of the Compassionate Friends of Canada. Please reach him at

Scott Michael Mastley, S.P.M.R., is a surviving sibling and a powerful writer and speaker. His book, Surviving a Sibling, fills a gap in grief literature by specifically addressing the unique aspects of sibling grief. Visit his Web site at for book information, links and e-mail, or write to The Box Press, P.O. Box 1925, Suwanee, GA 30024.

Linda Maurer graduated from Stephens College in 1962. She and Larry were married in 1969 and reside in Colorado. Her books can be obtained through bookstores or through the Centering Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska. She can be reached at P.O. Box 1638, Nederland, CO 80466.

Walker Meade began to write stories at the age of fourteen. When he was twenty-two, one of his pieces was published in Colliers magazine. He then wrote short fiction for the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping and Gentleman’s Quarterly, among others. He then turned to writing nonfiction for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest and Redbook. Later he became the managing editor of Cosmopolitan and then the managing editor of Reader’s Digest Condensed Book Club. His last position in publishing was as president and editor in chief of Avon Books. Today he is retired and concentrates on writing longer fiction. Upstart Press published his first novel in August 2001. It has had exciting critical reception and is selling unusually well. The book, Unspeakable Acts, can be ordered from

Cindy Midgette lives in eastern North Carolina with her husband, Buddy, and children, Brent and Allie. Cindy is an avid animal lover. She supports Airedale rescue: Please contact her at [email protected]

Diane C. Nicholson is a freelance writer and award-winning photographer living in British Columbia’s North Okanagan. She and her family own Nicholson Prints, selling photo art prints and limited edition prints, specializing in horses and companion animals, through their Web site at or by phone at 250-546-2560.

Bob Perks is a professional speaker, vocalist and author of The Flight of a Lifetime! Visit for his weekly messages, “I Believe in You!” Contact him at [email protected] or P.O. Box 1702, Shavertown, PA 18708-1702.

Debi L. Pettigrew graduated magna cum laude from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma. She currently works as the marketing director for the DME Company. She resides in Melbourne, Florida, and writes articles, poetry and prose on grief-related and inspirational subjects. She is available for freelance work and can be reached at 321-254-5440 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., is clinical professor of family and community medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and director and founder of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal. She is the author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. For more information, please visit

Lark Whittemore Ricklefs has not been published before. After losing “Jen,” she wrote to heal her broken heart and may be help other grieving parents. She thanks God for sending a dragonfly that has appeared to her many times. Lark told her sixth graders at Seton in Algona the story, and the same day she received the letter from Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul. What a special honor to know that “Jen” will be remembered forever. Lark can be reached at 814 South Harriet, Algona, IA 50511 or at her e-mail address [email protected]

Sarah A. Rivers is a Salem College graduate and a non-resident member of the Junior League of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her interests lie in writing inspirational poetry and nonfiction articles for publication. She and her husband, Ralph, live in Dallas, Texas. Sarah can be reached at 214-503-0195.

Doris Sanford is a registered nurse with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. She has taught a college course in death and dying for the past thirty years and authored twenty-nine books for or about children. She provides seminars worldwide on meeting the needs of abused children. Please reach her at [email protected]

Jim Schneegold is a legal printer in Cheektowaga, New York (suburb of Buffalo) who writes heartfelt personal-experience stories spanning from childhood embarrassments to late yesterday. His contributions to Chicken Soup for the Soul are a representation of his family values and a personal contribution to all who may benefit from them. He can be reached at 630 Beach Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Maria E. Sears is enjoying an active retirement. In addition to writing, she keeps busy with multiple volunteer organizations, traveling with her husband, doing numerous crafts and spending time with her two granddaughters. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

Duane Shearer is a busy, stay-at-home wife and mom with her seven-year-old, Savannah Swinehart. She had a second kidney transplant in June 2001 thanks to her husband Bob Swinehart’s generous donation of one of his kidneys. The family is doing great.

Robin Lee Shope has nearly one hundred magazine articles in print. She is a teacher and lives with her husband and their two children near Dallas, Texas.

Chris Thiry is a teacher’s assistant for children with learning disabilities in Grayslake, Illinois. She is married and has three children; two have grown up in this world, and one has traveled beyond. She hopes that her story will bring comfort to those who grieve. Chris and her family continue to volunteer their time every summer at the One Step at a Time Camp for children with cancer. For information please visit their Web site at or call 847-439-2127.

Dr. Roger William Thomas is the senior minister of First Christian Church in Vandalia, Missouri. A native of McLean County, Illinois, Roger is a preacher, author, Bible teacher, conference speaker, father of three and grandfather of four. He is a graduate of Lincoln Christian College and Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois. His doctorate is from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Roger may be contacted at 205 W. Park St., Vandalia, MO 63382.

Katherine Von Ahnen writes juvenile historic fiction and has four books published targeted on the Cape May, New Jersey, Lighthouse and Native-Americans. She was named New Jersey Poet of the Year in 1997. She resides at her Florida Quarter-Horse Equestrian Training Center. Reach her at [email protected]

Steve Wilson, C.S.P., joyologist, psychologist, author and speaker, is founder of the World Laughter Tour, Inc., leading the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter clubs. He teaches people around the world how to stay healthy and prevent hardening of the attitudes. A top-rated speaker, Steve can be reached at or 1-800-NOW-LAFF.

Paul D. Wood, a resident of Maui for three decades, taught for many years on the faculty of Seabury Hall, a college-prep secondary school. He now works as an independent writer-for-hire. His most recent published book is a collection of stories called False Confessions (see

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