Adult grief

When a Friend is Grieving

In this presentation, Robyn shares common misconceptions about grief that negatively impact our desire and ability to support a grieving friend.  Learn what to do and what not to do, how to know your friend is in crisis and where to turn for help, as well as  many other helpful insights. 

The Meaning and Purpose of Funerals

Since the beginning of time, humans have marked the death of other humans with ritual and special care for the body of the deceased.  In our current culture we are moving further and further from the use and understanding of ritual.  Learn how rituals function as a vital expression of our human condition, particularly in seasons of grief and loss.  This presentation contains an overview of the various components of a funeral service and explanation as to how each functions to support the needs of the bereaved.

This presentation can be extended for churches/pastors to include coaching on writing a funeral policay for your church, specifically articulating how you intend to serve the needs of families who opt not to use the services of a funearl home.  Collegiality between pastoral leaders and funeral home staff is stressed. 

Starting a Grief Group: Considerations and Resources  

So you want to start a grief support group.  How do you begin?  What is a “closed group?”  An “open group?”  Where do you find resources?  Who should attend and how do you screen participants?  These and many other questions will be answered by Robyn in this presentation. 

Holiday Helps After Loss

The holidays and special days, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can be extremely difficult when a loved one has died. This presentation shares proven strategies for coping with the holidays and special days following the death of a close friend or family member.   This presentation may be extended to include a simple memorial craft activity or a Blue Christmas Service of Remembrance. 

QPR Suicide Prevention

Become a QPR-Trained Gatekeeper.  QPR is to Suicide Prevention what CPR is to cardiac arrest-something anyone can learn and something that can save lives.  A most encouraging and empowering approach to suicide prevention, and most needed in today’s world. Robyn requires a time of consultation with a core leadership team prior to the training.  

Grief and Hope: Raising a Special Needs Child

Raising a special needs child is a never-ending journey of grieving what could have been and keeping hope alive to help your child become all they can be.  Robyn is the mother of two special needs children.  She speaks straight from the heart about the joys and challenges of parenting the special needs child – from the home, to the classroom to the doctor’s office.  

The Healing Power of Music

Co-Presenter, Kayla Schmitz

Have you ever heard a beautiful piece of music and been moved to tears?  Have  you ever heard a song on the radio and had your mind flood with memories of a love one long ago deceased?  This presentation will reveal just what is happening physiologically when we have these emotional responses to music and how how we can intentionally use that knowledge to help ourselves heal from loss or in caring for another who is grieving.  


A Service of Remembrance When the Perpetrator of Abuse Dies

The tragic reality is that most of the time the perpetrator of abuse is someone to whom we are closely related. The death of that person can cause conflicted emotions and resurgence of traumatic memories.  Robyn has created a service of remembrance that acknowledges the complexity of these relationships, allowing the bereaved to name both the good and the bad memories, and hear the word of hope spoken, all in a faith-based context. This service is most effective when offered privately to individuals or small family groups.  



Grief in the Workplace

There are few challenges greater than returning to work following the death of a loved one. The return to normal routines and needed financial security are both compelling reasons to return to work, but the demands on the job may be overwhelming during the most acute phases of bereavement.  This presentation will address the workplace needs of the bereaved.  At the same time, it will normalize those needs for employers and co-workers to foster greater understanding and provide guidance for practical support to bereaved co-workers.