Who Am I?
First and foremost, I’m a storyteller who loves listening to others tell their stories as well. Why? Because the gift of story is powerful. Stories can impact and transform peoples’ lives for the good. I love all types of literature and I’m eclectic in my reading preferences, but when I read a true story or hear a real life narrative from another person’s experience, I sit up and take notice. We live in a world that includes both good and bad – a world in which truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. We need to learn to live in this world and to make it the very best experience possible. And we need to learn from each other – your story makes another person’s life richer. And each one of us has a story.
Your story matters!
If no one ever hears your story, the world is the poorer for never having heard it. I’m asking you to encourage, inspire, motivate and teach people from what you have been given in your life so far. When I changed my career path at age 55, I had to ask myself: So how DID I get to this place in my life? What is my story and how has it shaped and formed me for the next chapter in my life? Even more importantly, how can my story positively impact those around me?
How did I get here?
The road was not an easy one… I got here through the real life story of my first wife, who was diagnosed with cancer at 42 years of age, and who died five years later leaving behind four children and a grieving husband. That experience, difficult as it was, has become a significant part of my story. It has led to three upcoming books, a new career as a writer, speaker and counselor. It has given me a passion to help others look at their whole life story in order to find deeper purpose, significance and happiness. The very things that might have brought the most pain in your life might be the very things that set you on a course that you could never have imagined.
But more important than all of these, I am married to a wonderful wife, Erica. We have four adult children and two beautiful grandchildren. I am an entrepreneur, have owned my own companies in sales and marketing. I was the Vice President of a large company and resident minster of a funeral home. But does that real tell you who I am – it tells you what I have done.
My favorite work is finding out who you are and helping you write the next chapters in your life in a way that impacts others and brings joy and purpose to your life.
- I am an ordained Lutheran minister of 30 years (M. Div. in Pastoral Care), although not currently serving in a church.
- I am a facilitator, who meets with clients desiring to transition through loss using my 8- week program entitled iLoss-uLoss, an intentional model for dealing with grief and loss.
- I am an avid blogger and write a weekly blog at www.intentionalgrief.com
- I am a children’s author and, along with my wife, Erica, who is a music educator and choral conductor, we have a book series called A Song with Every Story. I write the stories and she writes the songs to go with them, including in each original song an embedded excerpt from classical repertoire.
- I also serve on the board of the Alberta Hospice and Palliative Care Association (AHPCA).
- I’m a Certified Thanatologist (CT). Thanatology is the study of death, dying and grief. It is a certification granted to few by the Association for Death Education and Couseling (ADEC).
- Rick is 1 out of 25 in Canada certified in Thanatology