Lisa Wormser and Gil Schamess were among the first columnists to join Beliefnet in the fall of 1999. At the time, they were husband and wife, business partners, parents, and comrades in a brave, new struggle--coming to terms with Gil's recently diagnosed liver cancer. Hoping a record of their experience could help others, Gil and Lisa wrote about their efforts to live fully in the face of a terminal diagnosis. On January 29, Gil died peacefully at their home in Washington, D.C.
Gil Schamess was a writer whose creative efforts included editing and publishing a literary journal, The Cotton Quarterly, which printed its issues--each consisting of a single piece of "sudden" fiction--on T-shirts. He also co-founded a writing workshop, Trains of Thought, which taught small groups of adventuresome writers the joys of plying their craft while Amtrak showed them America as it can be experienced only by train. His articles and fiction have appeared in numerous national and local venues.
Lisa Wormser is the owner of Two Heads Communications, a writing and editing business in Washington. Her articles have appeared online at AccentHealth.com and Planning.org, and in print in the magazines Planning and The Architectural Record. Her short story, "The Essential Thing Forgotten," is forthcoming in the journal Glimmer Train. Since Gil's death, she has taken the name Lisa Schamess and begun a new column for Beliefnet, "Widow's Walk: A Year's Journey Through Grief."