I am intellectual, contemplative, and intuitive. I resonate deeply with the writing and theological teachings of Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr and am a One on the Enneagram Spiritual Inventory. I am a progressive Roman Catholic (I’ve been praying for the ordination of women to the Diaconate and married clergy for 25 years). My colleagues have told me that I am a bridge-maker and an agent for change and spiritual growth. I am a lover of water with a passion for kayaking.
I think it’s important to take healthy (informed) risks in life, which is why I am writing this book. During my years of study in the field of music, I’ve grown to love the vocal polyphony of the Renaissance period, Broadway musicals, and the film scores composed by John Williams (Schindler’s List and E.T.) My favorite performing experiences have been in Europe, Carnegie Hall, semi-professional theater roles, and touring with my college vocal jazz ensemble.
After more than 35 years of marriage I lost my husband and best friend to heart failure. I am a mom to three millennials and one Labrador, and am a nana to three grandchildren and two cats.
My love of travel began when I studied abroad for a year in W. Berlin, Germany during the height of the Cold War; where I was profoundly affected by the history, culture, post-war politics, and ghastly Soviet-built wall. It was my first experience living amidst suffering.
Favorite memories over the years include riding a sweaty, stumbling horse for 6 hours into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to fly-fish, camp, and raft; hoofing up “The Great Wall” of China for three hours in a torrent of rain and wind; and cross-country skiing with my husband into a Colorado valley; lit only by the moon and our head lamps.
My Bachelor Degree is in Vocal Music Education from St. Norbert College. My Master’s degree is in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch University. I trained in Clinical Pastoral Education for Chaplaincy at St. Camillus Skilled Nursing Facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was humbled to receive the Heart of Compassion Award in 2012, as one of the top chaplains in the nation for my company. I studied at the Writers Institute at UW Madison, The Clearing Folk School in Door County, and Red Oak Writing Studio.
My career in pastoral ministry culminated in my position as a full-time Hospice Chaplain at the same time that my husband was dying. Having also endured a serious clinical depression in my early fifties, my combined personal and professional experiences offered a peculiar benefit for my work in Hospice – where holding a certain comfort level with suffering and loss was imperative.
I have worked in the fields of education, hospice chaplaincy, and eldercare for almost 30 years. My chaplain ministry has afforded many opportunities to speak at funerals, conduct workshops on the industry of hospice, and teach on the Spirituality of Aging.
From this experience, I am offering my knowledge with the mission of helping consumers navigate hospice services.