About Marty Tousley

As both a bereaved parent and daughter, I've found my own way through grief many times. As one who's always wanted and needed animals in my life, over the years I've loved, lost and mourned a number of cherished animal companions as well.

As a nationally certified Fellow in Thanatology, I have focused my counseling practice on issues of loss, grief and transition throughout my professional career. In my 17 years as a bereavement counselor with Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ, I supported individuals and families in understanding and coping with grief in the first year following the death of their loved ones. For ten of those years I served as monitor and moderator for its innovative online Grief Healing Discussion Groups, until I assumed sole ownership of the site in October, 2013. As owner and administrator of the site, I am honored to offer members and visitors a readily available and safe place to take their grief. 

With my special interest in grief and the human-animal bond, I facilitated a pet loss support group for bereaved animal lovers in Phoenix for 15 years, and now serve as consultant to the Pet Loss Support Group at Hospice of the Valley and to the Ontario Pet Loss Support Group in Ontario, Canada. My years of grief counseling have taught me that grief is indifferent to the species of the loved one who was lost. I believe that anyone who loves greatly in life and grieves deeply in loss is deserving of whatever respect, caring and support I can offer.

I am a contributing author for Open to Hope, AfterTalk, and The Grief Toolbox, and have written a number of books, booklets, articles, online e-mail courses and e-books addressing various aspects of loss and grief. My own Grief Healing website offers information, comfort and support to anyone who is anticipating or coping with the loss of a loved one, whether that is a person or a cherished companion animal. Links to all the articles I've written for my Grief Healing Blog are listed on these pages: Marty's Articles; Children, Teens & Grief; Coping with Special Days and Pet Loss.

In my work with primary caregivers and the bereaved, I am honored to accompany people who are struggling with, working through, and overcoming the most devastating challenges of caregiving and loss, and every day I learn something new from each of them. I cannot imagine more inspiring, uplifting work than this.  Read more of my personal story here: A Message from Marty. My professional background and qualifications are described here.  I am fascinated by using Social Media as a way to learn, to connect and to share useful information about care giving, loss and transition. You can find me on LinkedIn, on Twitter @GriefHealing, on Facebook and on Pinterest. You can listen to Open to Hope's podcast about Grief Healing here: Finding a Place of Hope.

(This information was last reviewed and updated on July 25, 2023)