DSCN0513About Me

I was born and raised in India where I lived for the first four decades of my life. Now I live with my husband in a Chicago suburb. Our daughter is preparing for grad school.

My earliest childhood photos show me immersed in the pages of a book. The trend continues, a lifelong love of reading and writing. The gift and love of story was given to me by my paternal grandma who introduced me to the great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. If I had to describe my life using just one word, it would be story. I am a collector of stories, and a storyteller. One of my favorite jobs is facilitating My Life Story, a weekly group for seniors at a retirement community.

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I was ten years old when I won my first writing prize. My father decided the winner after setting his children an assignment after a vacation: Write an essay about the vacation and the best essay wins a cash prize. I was hooked and have since then gone on to publish articles, features, essays and short stories in a variety of publications in 7 countries. My personal essays have also been published in several anthologies and won awards. I have written and published two books and am currently working on my third.

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As a child, my favorite fantasy was to stand up in front of an imaginary classroom, ruler in hand, and lecture at length. I don’t remember what I talked about, but I distinctly recall the joy I experienced in doing so. I went on to become a Cambridge University certified trainer for the British Council in Chennai (India) and taught many workshops on everything from Etiquette to Business English, and Presentation & Communication Skills. Now I teach workshops, live and online, on topics such as Death & Dying, The Unfinished Business of Grief, How to Be the Real Me, The Forgiveness Journey, and more.

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For reasons I never questioned, friends and even strangers sought me out to share their deepest secrets. I have been a ‘confessional’ as far back as I can remember. I didn’t know it back then, but the seeds were being planted for my life mission. The Universe was creating the breadcrumb trail for my passions and purpose.

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The biggest shift in my life happened when my 68-year-old mother died of breast cancer in India in January 2009, eight months after we moved to Chicago. She was diagnosed ten days after our move and lived only eight months after. When my father followed her eighteen months later, my soul started to scream at me. I was consumed by deep anguish but also the big life questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I meant to do with this life?

Thus began my quest. My work and life today are a response to those questions. I serve as a Grief Guide and am also certified as a Dream Coach to guide people to their passions and life purpose. Since that time, I have sat bedside of many dying people as a hospice volunteer and worked closely with their families.

Grief is the death of a dream—whether you lose a loved one, a job, home, intimate relationship, or your own identity. The only thing that can give your life meaning is a new dream, a purpose, one that is born from the ashes of your loss. I am passionate about helping you transform your pain into purpose.

Loss is a sacred doorway to the next best chapter of your life. As your Grief Guide, I walk beside you, help you unlock that door and step into a life of meaning, purpose and joy.

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My two friends and colleagues Lo Anne Mayer (U.S.A.), Daniela Norris (Canada and Israel) and I (India) co-founded the International Grief Council to empower and educate those grieving a loss. We are three women from three different countries, cultures and faith backgrounds who were united by the universal language of grief. We are available for panel discussions, workshops and talks. Find out more at www.internationalgriefcouncil.org

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 hospicepallative

I received the Patient and Family Care Award from the Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois for outstanding volunteer service in 2011-2012.

 

 

Wayne

 

 

“You do not attract what you want. You attract who you are.”

— Wayne Dyer