Certified Grief Recovery Specialist

When human beings experience grief and loss, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My great passion is guiding grievers to recovery by allowing them to express their truthful thoughts and feelings and taking actions to help heal their broken hearts. Using the Grief Recovery Method, I have witnessed many grievers say good-bye to the pain and isolation caused by a significant loss of any kind while holding onto fond memories and images of their loved ones. I hold the hope for each griever and guide them through the actions they need to take to regain their sense of well-being.

After experiencing the death of my mother in 2007, I felt lonely and was in search of healing. In the years since, I have actively worked through my grief and am compelled to reach out, help others and offer that same hope to the grieving community. I discovered the Grief Recovery Method® and resonated with the action based approach that I had been looking for in the midst of my own personal grief. I became certified by The Grief Recovery Institute® as a Grief Recovery Specialist in 2011, allowing me to lead Grief Support Groups and One On One programs.

My educational background includes a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University in Portland, OR and a B.A in Communications from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame IN. When not seeing clients, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter. I am a Colorado native and love being outside whether I am biking, hiking, or enjoying the patio. 

Visit: Celynn McClarrinon, LSW


Barbara founded and leads both A Butterfly’s Journey (ABJ, a 501c3 nonprofit) and The Compassionate Friends of Greater Newburyport, MA, a grief support chapter (part of TCF USA).  She is an author of multiple books, a writer and co-author for several Grief Diaries, and a certified Grief Recovery Specialist. As part of ABJ, Barbara created ‘Portraits of Loss’ photo shoots to encourage open expression of grief, loss and love… which ABJ will host on this cruise (as well as being an event sponsor).  Participants are photographed expressing a phrase meaningful to them, and will later have access to their photos.  Barbara has led bereaved families through the journey of grief for fifteen years, after the sudden death of her twenty-one-year-old son, Brent. Prior to that, she lost a stillborn son, Robbie, and a baby through  miscarriage. Her background is international corporate technology, including IBM.  She resides north of Boston with her husband.  Their blended family includes four adult children, their partners and a baby grandson. 
Learn more & see others’ photos at:
Photo Gallery


Joanne Fink knows first-hand the pain of loss. In 2011 her life forever changed when her husband of 29 years died unexpectedly of a heart attack, just two days before their son’s 12th birthday. Joanne began journaling as a way of getting through her loss, and self-published excerpts from those journals in her illustrated memoir, When You Lose Someone You Love, as a gift of comfort for others who have lost loved ones. 

An award-winning calligrapher, author, designer and inspirational speaker, Joanne spent most of her career developing products for the stationery, gift, craft, and faith-based industries. In 2009, she founded Zenspirations®, a company dedicated to inspiring people to use their creative talents to make a difference in the world. Joanne’s down-to-earth, informative teaching style has made her books and YouTube videos popular around the world, and helped millions to express themselves creatively. Her licensed designs can be found on a variety of cards, gift and craft products.

Joanne is devoted to changing the culture of grief support in America, and is currently focusing her creative efforts on developing a line of products to help others navigate the grief process. A newly published edition of When You Lose Someone You Love will be the first book in the series. Guided journals, workbooks and commemorative products will be released over the next few years.  

Joanne serves on the national board of the Modern Widows Club (MWC), and hosts monthly MWC chapter meetings in her home. She has recently connected with other grief industry professionals to form a Grief Masterminds group. Joanne has a long history of community service and professional involvement. She was the Founding President of the International Association for the Calligraphic Arts and was a Founding Board Member of the American Guild for Judaic Arts. Joanne has served on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations, including the Greeting Card Association and the Holocaust Center of Central Florida.

To book Joanne as a speaker or workshop leader call her at 407-960-3960

or e-mail joanne@zenspirations.com. 

For more information on Joanne and her work, visit her website: www.zenspirations.com



Alan Pedersen is considered by many to be the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the world on rebuilding life after loss.  His powerful presentations draw from his lifetime of experience as an award winning song writer, humorist, performer and radio reporter. 

The focus of Alan’s work changed dramatically after the death of his daughter Ashley in 2001.
As a way to find healing in his own life, he began writing and recording songs about the grief journey.  Alan also became a student of grief, studying under and being mentored by some of the leading experts in the field. Alan has shared his unique message of hope, mixed with humor and beautiful songs with captivated audiences in more than 1,300 cities throughout the United States and Canada.​


 A year after moving to New York City in 2011 to pursue the theatre arts, Emma found herself returning to her yoga mat for balance and clarity amidst the busy city. In 2013, she completed her 200-Hour yoga certification through the acclaimed Pure Yoga in Manhattan. Emma now leads dozens of group classes each week at various studios in the city and metro area. She is attracted to the grace and fluidity of vinyasa yoga, and believes that by integrating awareness into the mind and body, through the use of breath and movement, we can lead healthier, more joyful lives. A lover of music, Emma utilizes sound vibration in her classes, from mantra chanting to tibetan singing bowls. She hopes that by connecting deeper to oneself, freedom can slowly be attained. When she isn't teaching, Emma can be found spending time with her beloved pitbull, Robin, and writing about her observations moving through this strange and beautiful world. 



Way to Wellness Integrative Health Education and Training
Diane Speer, Founder and Director of Way to Wellness, is a pioneer specializing in the health science field of mindfulness with over 25 years in education, research and programming in the integrative healing arts and mindfulness. She is a Yoga Therapist, Yoga and Meditation teacher trainer, Reiki Master, Grief Support Specialist, Aroma therapist, and a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Way to Wellness serves thousands with therapeutic lifestyle programs and professional trainings based in yoga, meditation mindfulness practices. Diane is no stranger to significant loss through her personal journey and professionally with clients. She has developed a repertoire of transformative lifestyle techniques and programs that educate about healthy lifestyle habits for wide ranging specializations including trauma, depression and anxiety, stress, Hospice care, and grief care and chronic disease management.  

She brings a unique blend of experience, understanding and practicality to all of her trainings, seminars and workshops, in a supportive and compassionate environment.  She collaborates with teams of therapists, health care providers, educational institutes, researchers, communities and businesses focusing on implementing a new healthcare paradigm representing the forefront of integrative mindfulness healthcare, empowering people to live healthier, more mindful and fulfilling lives. Diane is thrilled to be joining the Bereavement Cruise again in 2018 and will be offering one on one integrative healing arts therapy sessions.




After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Marketing and Operations Management, Glen Lord was on the fast track to accomplishing his goal of being a CEO of a fortune 500 company. The death of his son, Noah, in 1999 put brakes on the life he had so carefully planned. As Glen sought a new path he realized that there was a need for genuine, accurate grief information. This realization, plus his extensive business experience, fueled the founding of The Grief Toolbox and creation of the Walking Through Grief® program, both offer a community of grief resources around the world and a marketplace of grief and memorial products. Glen is past president of the national board of directors of The Compassionate Friends. He is a sought after keynote, inspirational presenter and workshop leader. Most recently Glen has come full circle is Co-Founder and CEO of the International Grief Institute, which provides a variety of grief education opportunities including Grief in the Workplace that promotes success in supporting grieving employees.


Deana Martin is a childless parent, who lost her only two children in a tragic auto accident in 2011. Miraculously, Deana was spared her only granddaughter who was in the car behind them. Since the death of her children Deana has become a certified grief specialist and has channeled the love for her children to other families facing loss. She is vice president of Cry For Me, No More, co-author of Grief Diaries: Loss of a Child and serves on the board of the National Grief & Hope Coalition. She has faced many adversities in life and feels each one makes her stronger. She is a breast cancer survivor, and is no stranger to trauma. She hopes to help people heal by showing them how to find the strength and courage needed along the journey.

Visit:  Cry For Me No More

Journeys of Hope Healing and Health

Bereavement Cruise



Linda became a bereaved parent with the loss of her infant daughter, Aubrie Marie. Linda founded Mourning Discoveries, Grief Support Services in 1991. Since that time she has filled the role of Aftercare Coordinator for funeral homes currently representing over 300 of them in 25 states and Canada. Linda has also continually facilitated several bereavement support groups as a hospice volunteer and is an AARP Widowed Person Service volunteer trainer and outreach provider.  In a style reflecting compassion, personal loss, experience by working with bereaved families, and special training, she effectively communicates with bereaved families. Through the sharing of personal stories and professional experiences with both integrity and credibility, Linda provides valuable tools, understanding, solid practical ways to help the bereaved.


Herb Knoll lost his wife, Michelle, to pancreatic cancer on March 7, 2008. As a bank executive, Herb was known as a man who could get things done. But when he lost his wife to cancer, he found few resources that could help him recover. When he asked a clerk at Barnes & Noble what materials were available, he was told, “Mister, we don’t have a damn thing for you!”  WOW!

The more Herb learned about the plight of widowers, from their high suicide rates to physical and emotional problems; troubled relationships, careers and finances and more; the more he became motivated to write a book to serve them.  After nine years of research and with the help of over 40 widowers and an esteemed team of subject matter experts, lead by sociologist Deborah Carr, Ph.D., of Boston University, and writer/editor Robert L. Frick, Herb wrote The Widower’s Journey, a breakout guidebook designed to comfort and assist widowers and those who love them.

Herb knows how to help widowers heal, and now he’s talking.

Herb’s presentations are lively, yet appropriately sensitive, expressly designed to comfort and assist widowers and the families who love them, in a way only a polished and seasoned professional speaker can deliver. Herb breaks down barriers that otherwise block widowers from discovering their better tomorrow.  As an advocate for widowers, Herb’s words are accepted by those fortunate enough to hear them, structured much in the way a guide serves those who are lost. Widowers trust Herb, in part because they recognize how, as a widower, Herb understands the challenges they face. Those who hear Herb’s compassionate message of hope, leave his presentations encouraged, and better equipped to move forward with their lives. Herb’s engaging personality provides an comfortable environment designed to encourage audience participation. The good news is, much of Herb’s expertise can help widows too.  Herb’s research and insights tackle the tough questions widowers need addressed.

To learn more, please visit: The Widower's Support Network


Mel Glazer, DD, DMIN, is Rabbi of Temple Shalom and is a native of Atlanta, GA. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation at Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Rabbi Glazer was sent by his Rabbi, Harry H. Epstein, of blessed memory, to Akiba Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia and the Joint Program (now known as List College) at JTS and Columbia University. He earned a BA in 1969 in Philosophy and a BHL in Hebrew Literature, followed by an MA in 1973 and Rabbinic Ordination in 1974. He has served pulpits in the United States, Canada and South Africa since then, and has been the Rabbi at Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs since July 2007.

In 1995 Rabbi Glazer earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. His dissertation explores numerous sociological and theological perspectives on death and mourning. Rabbi Glazer is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, and has conducted many individual and group Grief Recovery Seminars. In March 2001 he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Jewish Theological Seminary, as a tribute to his quarter century of service to the Jewish People. His wife Ellen is a Life Skills Coach and Behavioral Specialist, with a particular interest in Asperger Syndrome, Autism, ADHD and Learning Difficulties.

Visit: Rabbi Mel Glazer, DD, DMIN




Mitch Carmody, GSP, CCP is a writer, artist, grief educator and a nationally recognized motivational speaker has his own YouTube channel known as MrHeartlight. He is the author of several books, and hosts his own Radio Show “Grief Chat”. He is a Grief Facilitator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S) of military loss, member of The Association of Death Education and Counseling (A.D.E.C.) and has served on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, the largest grief support organization in the world. Visit:  HeartLight Studios


Death enters people’s lives on a daily basis whether or not we recognize it. Death is in the books we read, the songs we listen to, the fictional and non-fictional programs we watch, and on our bookmarked web pages. The media, society, and fantasy novel authors seem to glorify death. That is until death personally touches them.

Unexpected loss generates different, unforeseen consequences for all surviving family members due to the shifting in family dynamics. I lost my brother on February 13, 2006. He was twenty-three years young. I struggled for many years with the question – Am I still a sibling?  I was able to answer the question after undergoing a New Identity Transformation.  The journey for me began when I started the doctoral program. 

I am a recent Ph.D. graduate of Nova Southeastern College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In my research, I explore intrapersonal conflicts that result from unexpected events/losses for the adult sibling. My research is dedicated to my brother.  

I am in the process of writing a self-help book on Unexpected Adult Sibling Loss.  When I am not working or writing, I spend time with my loving family.  Visit:


Edward Zimmer is a clinical psychologist , licensed by the North Carolina Board of Psychology as a Psychological Associate and certified as a Health Services Provider. He received his graduate training at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. and postgraduate training at the University of Michigan. Additionally he has advanced clinical training through the Psychoanalytic Education Center of the Carolinas, (formally the Duke – UNC Psychoanalytic Education Program). 
Visit:  edwardzimmer.com

2018 Bereavement Cruise



Cindy Barg is a dynamic and internationally acclaimed public speaker, retreat leader, licensed psychotherapist & published author on loss, happiness & hope. In 1971, Cindy was told she would never be able to walk again or to be able to have children after a devastating car accident that killed her father and her family dog.  In 1995, Cindy’s brother was viciously murdered, one of the worst atrocities to have ever taken place in the state of Massachusetts. Through her grief and healing, Cindy has experienced extraordinary conversations and signs from the other side, confirming that those who have passed are still with us. Cindy shares these experiences with local and international audiences in the hope that her journey will provide hope and inspiration to others moving through the grieving process. Cindy has spoken all around the world, including Malaysia, China, India, Canada and The US. She has an extraordinary ability to help others grasp and gather the threads of their lives with a dignified hope. Abounding with humor, compassion & warmth, Cindy imparts that underestimating hope and happiness is not an option, even after loss.  Her book, But The Heavens Never Cried can be purchased online or viewed at www.gettingbeyondlifestuff.com