Sunday, March 9, 2014

She Made Us Laugh Through Our Grief

Those in the bereavement world were shocked to hear of the death of Darcie Sims, well-known speaker on grief at national conferences of Compassionate Friends, TAPS, Bereaved Parents USA, grief management specialist and bereaved mother herself, this past week.

Her boundless humor and incredible love for life were her trademarks. As TAPS said in a tribute to her, "So many were comforted by her loving care. She nurtured our souls with her compassion and her words. She helped us remember the love we were so richly given. We are stronger for having had Darcie Sims in our lives."  

Here are some of her accomplishments:
Darcie D. Sims, Ph.D., CHT, CT, GMS is a bereaved parent and child, a grief management specialist, a nationally certified thanatologist, a certified pastoral bereavement specialist, and a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.  She is the author of Why Are the Casseroles Always Tuna?,  Footsteps Through the Valley, Touchstones and If I Could Just See Hope.  She co-authored A Place For Me: A Healing Journey for Grieving Kids, Footsteps Through Grief, The Other Side of Grief and Finding Your Way Through Grief with her daughter, Alicia Sims Franklin.  She co-authored The Crying Handbook, In the Midst of Caregiving, and Exploring the Heart, Soul, and Challenges of Caregiving for Professionals with Dr. Robert Baugher.  She also wrote and produced the videos Handling the Holidays and What Color is Dead: Death From A Child’s View as well as authored numerous chapters in professional books and textbooks.  Darcie is featured in the award-winning video series “Good Grief” produced by Iowa Public Television and has been featured in several other videos as well.  She has written 6 Care Notes for Abbey Press.

She is an internationally recognized speaker and was Coping Editor for Bereavement magazine for 15 years in addition to writing for Grief Digest.  She served on the national board of directors for The Compassionate Friends, the national board of directors for the Association of Death Education and Counseling and the board of trustees for the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved.  Darcie received The Compassionate Friends Professional Award in 1999. She co-chaired the 1991,1996 and 2005 World Gathering on Bereavement, and keynoted at all 4 World Gatherings. Darcie is president and co-founder of GRIEF, Inc. a grief consulting business and the Director of the American Grief Academy® in Seattle, Washington.  She is the Director of Training and Certification for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors®. She is a Board Certified Professional Counselor (APA), a Fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association, a Certified Diplomat in Clinical Hypnotherapy and is listed in Who’s Who in America, The World Who's Who of Women and The International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women.

I did not know Darcie as well as some did, but I was always right there at conferences to listen to her words of wisdom...and there were many. I remember once when I had just finished my first book and couldn't find the right title, suddenly she said something that just clicked with me. She was talking about love and how it never dies. And she had no intention of saying good-bye to her child, ever. That's it, I thought, because I felt the same way, no matter what others said about moving on and forgetting: I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye, hence my first book title. That was a moment in time I can thank Darcie for.

My thoughts are with her family. Here is one of Darcie's well-known quotes..."No light born in love can ever be extinguished." Her light will continue to shine through all who knew her.