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2023  Forthcoming.  Concurrent Session at the International Death, Grief and Bereavement Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Commemorating those lost during the Pandemic:  Using a Global Lens for Support.

2022  Bearing Loss: Coping with Grief in an Uncertain World.  St. John's Catholic Community.  Davison, MI.  November

2022 Combining a Sociological Lens with a Public Health Focus: Advocating for the Bereaved Population.  Public Health and Health Sciences Department Speaker Series.  Open to all faculty, staff and students at the University of Michigan.  November

2022 Processing Loss in a Pandemic:  An ‘Altered Grief’.  October guest speaker for the Council of Catholic Women at St. Martha Parish in Okemos.  October.


2022  Invited Speaker in PPA 543, Professional Issues for PAs III, University of Michigan-Flint.  Three presentations on the topics of Death, Dying and Loss; Palliative and End of Life Care; Patient Response to Illness, Injury, and Stress and application to Clinical Practice. September/October

2022.  Closing Keynote Presentation at the International Death, Grief and Bereavement Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  June.  '2020-2021' The Unforgettable Years of Loss and Change:  What Have We Learned to Best Support Ourselves AND the Grieving?

2022.  Presentation for Diocese of Lansing Deacons.  Bearing Loss:  Shared Ministry-A ministry of caring for the brokenhearted.  March 11, 2022, St. John the Evangelist, Fenton, MI.

2021.  December.  St. Roberts's Widow2Widow group, Flushing, MI.  Bearing Loss:  Creative Ways to Cope with Grief.

2021. November.  The Catholic Community of St. John and Blessed Sacrament, Davison, MI.  Bearing Loss: Creative Ways to Cope with Grief.

2021. PPA 543 Professional Issues for Physician Assistants, UMFlint, Death, Dying and Loss.  , October 15, 2021.  

Presentation in PPA 543 Professional Issues for Physician Assistants, UMFlint, Death, Palliative and End of Life Care, October 22, 2021.

Presentation in PPA 543 Professional Issues for Physician Assistants, UMFlint, Death, Patient response to illness, injury, and stress- application to clinical practice.  October 29, 2021.

September, 2021.  Faith Catholic Magazine, October Issue.  Caring for another?  What's in your Toolkit?  

Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

August, 2021.  Faith Catholic Magazine, September Issue.  Bearing Loss Together:  With Christ and in Community.  Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.


 June 7, 2021.  'I've hit a wall!' Exploring Challenges and Support for Caregivers of People with Dementia.  Co-presentation by Laurel Hilliker, PhD, CT and Debra Schaefer, MSW, ACSW.  International Death, Grief & Bereavement Conference Concurrent Presentation.

December 9, 2020.  Two presentations to be held in the large church at The Catholic Community of St. John & Blessed Sacrament, Davison, MI.  Bearing Loss:  Creative Ways to Cope with Grief.  Morning talk begins at 11a.m. -12:30 p.m. and night talk is from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  Masks required.

April 30, 2020.  Webinars for the Michigan Society of Respiratory Therapists.  COVID19 Support for Respiratory Therapists:  Building Resilience in the Midst of Uncertainty.  

Postponed:  April, 2020 Speaker for conference on Palliative Care, University of Michigan-Flint.  Anticipatory Grief.  Location:  North Bank Center, Flint, MI.


December, 2019 open talk for any and all bereaved individuals as we approach the Christmas and New Year's holidays.  Coffee & Conversation:  Living with Loss.  St. John's Catholic Community, Davison, MI.  All are welcome.


On Friday, September 27, 2019 private talk for students at Washtenaw Community College on Ethics and End of Life Care.  PHL:244 Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care.

On Monday, September 23, 2019 private talk for students at Oakland University on Ethics at the End of Life.  HS4500:  Law, Values, and Health Care.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., all are welcome to attend:  Bearing Loss, Together With Christ.  Then again, the same presentation will be offered on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  Both will be held at The Catholic Community of St. John the Evangelist Parish, 405 N. Dayton Street, Davison, MI.  In this presentation, designed for all stages of bereavement, we will explore our loss experiences, examine the challenges associated with grieving and discuss strategies for a good outcome. As well, we will reflect upon our Catholic faith and the value of mutual help as we connect with others who have similar losses.  No cost for participants.

MAY 6, 2019 8:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. A day retreat for those struggling with significant loss in their lives.  Sponsored by Prime Time, East Lansing, MI.  Keynote Speakers are Dr. Laurel Hilliker and Dan Jones, Owner of Moving Stillness Healing Arts, LLC.  Retreat will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 800 Abbot Road, East Lansing, Michigan.  This retreat includes talks by both Dr. Hilliker and Mr. Jones, break-out sessions, afternoon activities including Tai Chi for grief and loss.  Space is limited.  Call the Prime Time office at 517.337.1113 to register.  Cost $50, includes lunch.


From the Desk of Dr. L

-2022 Stay tuned for updates on Dr. L's forthcoming teaching memoir on altered grief and pandemic haze, which is under review for publication.

-March 24, 2019.  There is immediate concern for copycat suicides due to the recent Parkland tragedies.   Suicide among adolescents has increased significantly and is now the second leading cause of death among teens in the United States.  Suicide clusters [see Centers for Disease Control data] are often seen in young people under the age of 25 who do not understand the full ramification of their actions.  Few have addressed this issue by recruiting family members of teenagers who have completed suicide and who have experienced the devastating grief and life-long aftermath. I encourage enlisting these bereaved family members [at least one year post-loss]to come in and talk to the high school students.  Parkland students have experienced trauma through the death of their peers, are suffering, and might think the answer to their own pain is suicide. We need to help them to understand that they would be transferring their pain to that of their families and communities.   A recent 2015 report from the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention noted that one of the key principles for creating a comprehensive postvention effort should include:  Involving survivors of suicide loss in planning and implementing postvention efforts [see Suicide Prevention Resource Center].  If we hope to dissuade more tragedies, we must rethink our strategy for short-term crisis response of only providing mental health professional counseling to this vulnerable population of young people.


Teenagers would benefit from hearing stories of suicide loss from peers who have lost a sibling or friend.  There are grief centers throughout the nation who help families through various types of loss who can provide appropriate access to these bereaved young people.  They can be recruited [with consent and permission] to come into Parkland High School and surrounding schools.  If we are serious about creating a society who understands the pain of loss, then we must commit to grief and loss education and the elimination of self-induced death.

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