Melissa is an experienced social worker with 25 years of experience in psychosocial oncology and bereavement counseling. Her personal experience of loss has given Melissa deep insight into the impact grief has on individuals, families and friends. Her educational content is powerful, thorough, and deeply human, and her bright, genuine spirit is heart-warming and distinctive.
As a companion coach, Melissa teaches adult companions to the bereaved in individual, group, workshop, and retreat settings. With sincere enthusiasm and empathy, she teaches the importance of recognizing one’s mind, heart and soul while grieving, and creating space for holistic well-being. She greatly appreciates the unique, individual challenges faced by the bereaved and those who support them.
As the Executive Director of Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, Melissa also holds the honor of leading community programs to support children and families impacted by loss from death, divorce, abandonment, incarceration, deportation, and military duty. She’s become a leading advocate through Wisconsin school districts and local communities, supporting children facing adversity from loss.
“True companionship for the bereaved goes far beyond the cognitive approach”, says Melissa. “It requires one also recognize and honor the presence of another’s soul.”