Who is Jan Warner?
I have a photo of me holding a python, a photo of me standing outside in a blizzard. I have many photos of me smiling but in the end I chose this one. There are many things that make me happy My memories are filled with joy because I want my husband's life and our life together to matter more than his death. He used to say, "We are so lucky." I am grateful, very grateful, to have such a deep and special love in this life. However, my Facebook page is called Grief Speaks Out not grief remains silent. That's why I chose a picture in which I look sad. It is not easy living each day (and I have done this for over eleven years now) without my husband. Sometimes in the midst of a magical life the grief can still become overwhelming. If you want to know me you must know the sad me as well as the joyous me; otherwise we will remain strangers.
When my husband died I felt an intensity of grief I had not anticipated. My husband was a recovering alcoholic who spent his sober life being available to other alcoholics and addicts. In order to honor him I decided to make myself available to other grieving people, thinking if I reached one person that would be enough. I started a blog, Stop Thief Don’t Steal My Grief, www. griefspeaksout.net has many hits per month even though I don't write new posts.
My Facebook page Grief Speaks Out, www.facebook.com/GriefSpeaksOut, has 7 posts every day and 2.4 million likes. My book, Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss has over 1000 reviews on Amazon - the majority of them five star. I have also been a guest on several podcasts and soon am going to be on an app called Grief Refuge.
I have an eclectic life. I co-produced a conference called The Resilience of the Human Spirit which inspired the short documentary Poetry of Resilience. The speakers at this conference were poets who had survived genocide and political terror. I have been executive producer and creative consultant on other documentaries and was an associate producer for the off-Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Two Character Play and produced an off Broadway play with Hayley Mills called Party Face. I used my Masters in Counseling degree and training in NLP and hypnotherapy to work in child abuse prevention and suicide prevention.
I am always learning and love to travel. I have been to all seven continents including countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Libya. My favorite role in life is being a mother and a grandmother.
When my husband died I thought my life was over. I am surprised how, one breath at a time, I have managed to have so many magical and productive moments. I would have missed so much if I had died, as I wanted to, all those years ago. In many ways I am an ordinary person. If I can learn to be fully alive while grieving, anyone can.
Jan Warner is the ultimate grief guru! Her profound understanding of grief, use of language, and the format of this book serves as an indispensable road map for grievers wherever they may be on their journey through grief.