Everyone Needs a Grief Friend

5 Qualities to Consider


“Why would I tell you deep things when I don’t know you?”

As a counselor and narrative therapist, I engage people who don’t know me all the time. And I want them to tell me their deepest worries and struggles.

After hearing a person’s story, I will often ask if they have a good friend. (more…)

What Are Your Goals?

A New Year’s Resolution to Die For


Why does a New Year’s resolution have to be all about “me”? Lose weight. Reduce debt. Close a big business deal. Develop your personal “SMART” goals. (more…)

4 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts That Won’t Cost You a Dime

(And they’re too big to fit under the Christmas tree)

I’ve learned about these gifts from spending time with people as they are dying.

I’m just wondering why people don’t think about these prior to their last moments of life on earth. What would happen if we chose to share these special gifts this Christmas? These are BIG gifts. (more…)

7 Strategies That Really Work to Help You Meet Your Loved One at Christmas.

Even Though They Have Died


Is Christmas difficult this year because you will be missing a loved one? Are you wondering how to manage without them? Do you feel that Christmas will be too hard to handle without their presence? The following strategies will help you to bring that person whom you are missing a little closer. (more…)

Another First

Why they continue to be important in your grief.


A young father came by the gym at which I was working out. It was Halloween. “So, is your baby daughter going out trick or treating tonight?” I asked.  “Yes, she is getting all dressed up. I’m not sure how long she will last, but it’s fun for us,” he replied. (more…)

Speaking the Same Language Is Impossible When It Comes to Dying

Do You Hear What I hear?


I recently returned from a music camp where my wife Erica was a guest choral conductor.

It was in Quebec. French was the predominate language spoken by the participants. Erica speaks it fluently, but unfortunately, I only speak English. Because of that, I often felt left out of the conversations that were taking place. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, nor was it intentional. I just couldn’t follow the conversation. (more…)

Directing Your Own Story

Why Your Dying Is Your Business


Dying is not a passive event – at least not until you are no longer able to mentally engage with with those around you.

Your life is like a storybook. It’s important to look back on your life and consider what’s been significant. What have been the highlights? The struggles? The surprises? It’s also important to look ahead and consider how your last chapter on earth might unfold in a direction that you prefer. As such, you need to take the author’s pen. (more…)

Boundaries to Die by

… Say What?


When I met my second wife, who is a native Quebecer, I discovered that people don’t really stop at stop signs in Montreal. I had to re-learn how to stop when we’d go out there to visit her family. The “stop” is closer to a “yield” than a full stop there – this is due in part to the fact that there are so many stop signs! At first, I was unsure when to stop and when to go; who was at the stop sign first; and if it was my turn to proceed. I eventually learned and became confident. (more…)

Sugar and Salt

Why we should add both ingredients into our dying


Sugar adds sweetness. Salt adds flavour.

While most people have come to understand that dying is about subtraction – something being taken away – I have come to believe that it has everything to do with addition. Even though we are preparing for our final chapter on earth, we should consider what we would like to leave to our family and friends once we’re gone – something that will continue to “taste good” even after we have died and made our way into our next story.

I watched a humming bird the other morning. It came and took sweet nectar from a flower. And then it flew away. That evening I tasted the wonderful flavours of a restaurant dish I was eating in Montreal. And then we left.

We have much to give to others in our dying. We are not certain how long we will stay. Your “sugar and salt” should be offered freely as gifts to be opened and shared with those who are most important to you.

A spoonful of sugar. A teaspoon of salt.

What might those ingredients look like for you?

Rick Bergh is a best-selling author. His latest book, Looking Ahead: How Your Dying Impacts Those Around You will be released in November.  In it, Rick Shares his 30 years of experience and his personal journey with his first wife Pam and their last three months together prior to her death at 47 years of age.

Connect with him at www.rickbergh.com or www.intentionalgrief.com




Flying Next to Me

Why I Want You Next to Me in My Dying Journey


You can choose the seat number on your flight, but you can’t choose the passenger who ends up sitting next to you. Sometimes it’s a pleasant experience…and sometimes it’s not. (more…)