A lighthouse sits on a rocky shore at sunset.

GriefSPEAK: A Family Reunion comes through – Mari Nardolillo Dias

By: Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias 

A Family Reunion with those who have passed 

It’s exactly 11:11 as I write this. I smile because I know the angels are with me. Last week I wrote about Artificial Intelligence and grief. I wondered why my clients were against AI, but very much in favor of mediums.

Last evening I attended a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Rhode Island. It was a 2 1/2 hour group reading from the medium, Debbie Squizzero. About 30 of us sat in a circle while Deb told us about her experiences of seeing dead people from the age of six. She grew up and became a special education teacher, but her gifts were alive and well and eventually drew her to full-time mediumship. 

Deb began the readings with a woman and her two adult daughters. She felt mother/grandmother coming through. The information she shared, from the purses, the shoes, and her description had the woman and her girls alternating between laughing and crying. Another woman’s father came through. Deb shared his talent for making jugs of brandy and “doing shots” at the large family table, along with a litany of behaviors, life experiences and quirks. They were all on point. 

She spoke to a woman whose only son had passed in his sleep. Mom had waited a year and a half for this woman who was charged with making a quilt out of all of her son’s tee shirts to finish. Her son spoke from the other side, sharing his love and gratitude for both his mom and the quilt. She then moved on to a young man who was coming through and spoke of his medical trials in Boston. It was my daughter’s friend who passed in his early 30’s. He sent some sage words of advice. Deb then asked my daughter if she was going on a trip soon. “Yes, Portugal next month.” 

Deb: “He said to tell you he’s coming with you.” 

Deb then looked over to me and said “There is a Robert or Bobby here. I raised my hand. It seems my dad had come through saying that he knew I had made a career choice ( I retired this week from teaching), and in my retirement I would be busier than before (my private practice is booming, and I have been touring around the state presenting “No GPS for Grief” workshops along with book signings and readings). Dad told me to relax a bit and do something fun.

Then Deb looked at me and asked:” Who tried to steal a street sign?” I began to laugh. My brother Bobby was with dad, reminding me of the time he tried to steal the Nardolillo Street sign, a short road off of Plainfield Pike.  I was astounded. Then Deb asked me, “A woman is showing me false teeth. I roared. My grandmother was notorious for having dentures made, only to determine that they were a bad fit, and in the end she had about half a dozen sets of dentures, never to be worn. Nanny was there as well! Deb explained that we often have a “spirit family”, where our loved ones come together.

Last night, thanks to Reflexion Fitness, Laura Lanni, hopeful 2023 LLS Visionary of the Year, for hosting the fundraiser, and to Deb Squizzzero for donating 100% of the proceeds to LLS. And finally, I’d like to thank my daughter Lindsay for inviting me to this event. It proved to be a wonderful family reunion of those who have passed. 


Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.

She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI.  For more information, go to:


  1. Mari Nardolillo-Dias on April 30, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Essie-
    Yes! I love Tyler Henry- Debbie Squizzero was very similar. Thanks for reaching out and commenting!

  2. Essie Dube on April 29, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    Reminds me of the “Life After Death” medium, Tyler Henry. He evidently has a wait list of some 300,000 people and appears to be the real deal. He scribbles on a pad and the revelations begin. The gift appears to be real, judging by the reactions of those who hire him to what he tells them.