Speaking and Workshops


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you and others in your community knew how to effectively help those who mourn? Wouldn’t it be a blessing of hope and healing if you could confidently assist others through their losses? Too many people, wondering what to say or do, feel inadequate to truly come alongside and comfort the grieving. What I bring to your workplace, church or community setting are trans-formative workshops or seminars packed with fresh insights, new skills, and a safe learning environment.  Grief is no longer the enemy to be shunned, but has become the vehicle to connect with one another.

Raising our awareness about bereavement is of top concern for me as I encounter our modern culture that is unable to model and support healthy grieving.  As a classroom teacher for nearly 20 years I engaged my high school or elementary students with a fun and meaningful learning environment. Therefore, when I facilitate a Comfort for the Day Workshop, it includes small group work, discussions, and goal planning both for the group as well as individuals.  And yes, we have fun.

I am available to speak on the topic of grieving and healing from loss in either seminar format or stand alone presentations.  My focus is to raise awareness of the grieving experience and to assist the audience with skills for becoming healthy grievers and renowned comforters.  In a world that is bent on pain and death, individuals who will come along side the hurting are like a warm blanket on a chilly, dark night.

Attendee Reactions to CFD Workshops

“I have never attended anything like this.  I found it very helpful.”  Missoula MT

“Great workshop! The most useful part was the exercise where we built a care plan for a loss.”  Yakima WA

“If you want to help a grieving friend, but aren’t quite sure how, this workshop is the place to be.” Carmichael CA

“Thank you, Karen, for a creative and safe learning environment.” Weott CA

“This was awesome.  I was helped by learning what really helps a bereaved family.  It is all about them and my part is to become a good listener.”  ACS Retreat at Leoni Meadows, Grizzly Flat California

“I came away with ideas to formulate a team to help the grieving.”  Fargo ND

“Everyone can gain something from attending a CFD workshop.” Helena MT

Worship Messages

In addition to facilitating workshops, I also include the morning worship message in a Comfort for the Day Weekend.  The sermons I present help prepare the congregation for personal application as well as encouragement to continue reaching out to others in their suffering. My style includes captivating stories, personal experiences, relevant Scripture and audience interaction.


Troy Haagenson ~ Senior Pastor at the Cloverdale SDA Church, Boise Idaho:  pastortroy@cloverdale.org

Merlin Knowles ~ President at Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Bozeman Montana:   Merlin.Knowles@mc.npuc.org


Grief in the Workplace

A Ready Company Never has to Get Ready

Companies are realizing that providing quality grief support creates a climate of loyalty, improves employee retention and establishes a greater sense of community among its staff.  Instead of trying to mop up after the fact, companies who are preparing to support grieving employees are preemptive in providing what their staff needs most.

As a grief educator I bring leadership and employees together; teaching them how to encourage each other through losses and creating an atmosphere of support.  I also work with HR departments to draft an enhanced bereavement policy that offers the genuine help a grieving employee really needs.

The Financial Impact of Grief in the Workplace

“Traditional thinking in the workplace is that financial stress is the major cause of grief and stress. However, death of a loved one is by far the greatest issue for employees. All other causes above are far behind in their cost to employers. The total annual cost of employee grief to US employers was $75 billion in 2003 and death of a loved one accounted for $37.6 billion alone. It is more than double the cost of all the other causes of grief combined! When adjusted to 2017 dollars, death of a loved one taxes employers more from $75-$100 billion annually. In fact, the costs of grief are often hidden under the statistics. For example, the Council on Alcoholism estimates that alcohol abuse contributes annual costs to industry in excess of $276 billion. What that statistic omits is the fact that the vast majority of alcohol relapses occur as the direct result of the death of a loved one or a divorce or other romantic break-up. So the cost of losing a loved one likely far exceeds $100 billion per year.”                                         https://www.docuvital.com/2017/01/05/the-hidden-costs-of-grief-in-the-workplace/

The Emotional Impact of Grief in the Workplace

When employees know the work place is a safe environment for their seasons of grief, the results translate into

  • consistent productivity
  • safety
  • fewer sick leave days
  • emotionally healthy employees
  • higher employee retention
  • enhanced employee loyalty

Thus setting your company above the others as a desirable place to work that remains stable throughout your employee’s seasons of grief.

About the Presentations

Whether the audience is small or large, I communicate with ease and comfort.  The workshop environment, is lead with highly interactive and fun learning strategies.  Together, we create a safe teaching environment where attendees relax and discover that grief in the workplace is not the enemy and comforting others is much easier than previously considered.

The market place is often the part of our lives that ignorantly handles the pain of a customer’s, client’s or employee’s grief.  When tragedy strikes your company, I am available to present a tailor made workshop for your staff.  However, I would rather come preemptively so that your staff will be prepared BEFORE the need arises. A ready company, never has to get ready.  Experts inform us that companies who practice compassionate care for both clientele and staff rank higher in service, satisfaction and thus improve the  financial strength of their business.

Questions to Ask

  • Do I know what my employee needs at their hour of grief?
  • Am I able to provide what they need?
  • Do I understand what my client or customer needs from me during their season of bereavement?
  • Am I skilled to provide that for them?
  • How could my team/staff be better prepared to help each other through a loss?

If you understand that your leadership in this area will create trust and support for those you are responsible for, then contact me to arrange for a workshop or seminar.


Fred Cornforth,  CEO at CDI Group of Companies,  (208) 459-8522

Sheila Dahlman,  Human Resource Manager,  Somerset Pacific, LLC      208-649-1550 – direct

Senior Community Staff and Resitent Grief Care



2017 Speaking Schedule

February 4 & 5  Cloverdale SDA Church, Boise Idaho

February 10 & 11  Ukiah SDA Church, Ukiah CA

February 17 & 18 Paradise SDA Church, Paradise CA

July 15 & 16 Alpha SDA Church, Becoming Skillful Comforters, Austin Texas

July 16-20  Camp Agape Children’s Bereavement Camp TX

July 25 & 26 CDI/Somerset Pacific Workplace Training, Boise Idaho

August 1 – 4  Lake Tahoe SDA Camp Meeting, Healthy Grief and Skillful Comforters, Lake Tahoe CA

September 29  Workplace Training at Health and Benefits Services Department Texas Association of Counties, Austin TX

November 17-19    Camp Agape Family Camp Retreat, Camp Buckner TX


January 19-21   Coeur d’ Alene SDA Church, Coeur d’ Alene Idaho

February 1 & 2 Health and Wellness Boot Camp/Texas Association of Counties, Horseshoe Bay TX

March 2-3  Vancouver SDA Church, Vacouver WA

April 18  Amen Clinic, Everett WA

April 18-22  Pacific Northwest ASI Conference, Everett WA

May 4-6  Watsonville SDA Church, Watsonville, CA