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GriefSPEAK: Chasing the light – Mari Nardolillo Dias

by Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias, contributing writer

There are at least two ways of looking at almost everything. Including grieving the loss of a loved one. The most common triad of emotions are fear, loneliness and yearning. Sometimes grievers can get “stuck” and often lost. Grievers avoid “triggers”- a song, a smell, touch and/or photos– because the connotation of a trigger is negative, and often results in tears, the fear, the loneliness and the yearning.

I encourage my clients to prepare for triggers and take a proactive stance – they are everywhere. Yet, so are glimmers. Glimmers are the positive emotions associated with a song, a smell, a touch and photos. We can find the light when in our darkness, as The Complaints new album “Chasing Light” lyrics profess, “No one said life was easy, We’ll find a way believe me – Chasing Light. (The Complaints and Joe Martira), Some may need to chase it; for others, the light/glimmer finds them. Glimmers, like triggers, are everywhere. We just need to be open to them. Also referred to as “GodWinks” (Squire Rushnell), they are flashbulb events or memories that shine light on our memories of the loved ones that have passed.

One such glimmer was provided to me by Dave Kane, while conversing with him on his radio show (Kane & Co, WARA). He mentioned an organization founded by parents whose teenage daughter died as a result of a horrific car accident. Although mentioned in passing, I felt compelled to find out more. The name of the organization is the Forever Family Foundation,“ where science and spirituality work hand in hand to bring comfort to the bereaved.” They sponsor a radio show, Signs of Life Radio and according to their website, we are invited to “Come explore the afterlife during our one hour live interactive radio show that has been airing since 2005. The show is brought to you weekly in four different formats featuring top credentialed experts in the various fields of afterlife studies, and specialty broadcasts with elite Mediums who hold the exclusive certification by Forever Family Foundation. The show is intended to help you learn about the evidence for life beyond death, grief transformation, and the nature of consciousness. All shows are archived on this website for future listening” (

It you don’t look for it, you might need to chase it! In this case, I share one of my latest “glimmers” with you.


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:

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