Helen Fitzgerald is a certified death educator, author, and lecturer who pioneered the nation's first grief program in a community mental health center. She devoted herself to this work after the death of her first husband left her a widow with four children. In addition to writing her column for Beliefnet, Fitzgerald is also the director of training for theAmerican Hospice Foundation
and a frequent contributor to theirwebsite
and other publications.
Formerly the coordinator of the grief program at Mental Health Services of Fairfax County, Virginia, for 23 years, she promoted innovative work with the mentally retarded, widows and widowers, the terminally ill, prisoners, and children of all ages. Fitzgerald is also a former member of the board of directors of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, which recognized her work in 1999 with its annual Clinical Practice Award.
Her writings include"The Grieving Child: A Parents' Guide"
(Simon & Schuster, 1992),"The Mourning Handbook"
(Simon & Schuster, 1994) and "The Grieving Teen
" (Simon & Schuster, 2000). She is the author of many magazine articles, has been featured in Parents Magazine, and has appeared on the CBS Morning Show and the NBC Today Show. She served as an adviser to the ABC family comedy "Full House" and was featured on Nick News on the Nickelodeon cable network.