Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Mari Dias!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

Dr. Mari Dias

It’s my honor to welcome Mari Dias to the blog today. Mari was a guest here last year and had the most engagement of anyone! Here’s a chance to learn more about her:

Mari, what name do you use as an author?  Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias

Where is your hometown? North Kingstown, Rhode Island

What genre(s) do you write? Nonfiction memoir

What have you written? GriefSPEAK: Stories of Loss, Volumes I and II (2021, 2022)

Who are some of your favorite authors? Irvin Yalom, Chloe Benjamin and John Irving

What were your favorite books growing up? The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright, The Boxcar Children Mysteries Series by Gertrude C Warner and Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene

What do you like best about writing? The catharsis and debriefing it affords me. It is a great method of self-care.

What do find most challenging about writing? The solitude and the aloneness.

Where do you draw your inspiration? From my clients

You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with Irvin Yalom. What’s the title going to be? Life of Sighs

In Mari’s words: As a Thanatologist, certified grief counselor, and hospice volunteer, I find bereavement and end of life counseling to be my destiny. It is humbling and gratifying; I am privileged to work with grieving a loss (death and non-death), both expected or traumatic, as well as spending the remaining months of an individual’s life with them.

I have worked with people of all ages as they grieve. I use methods based on the cognitive and emotional development of the individual. This includes play, theater, art and storytelling therapies for children, which is modified for teens. When working with adults I use individual and group facilitation with an integrative therapeutic approach.

My website is www.gracepointegrief.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GracePointeGrief

Mari is offering a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. To be eligible, just consider this:

It’s Thanksgiving time. You have an empty chair at the table. Who has passed that you would like sitting in that chair to enjoy this family feast? If you believe in signs, what sign do you associate with this person?

47 thoughts on “Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Mari Dias!

    1. OOPS. I forgot to mention the sign I associate with her… That would be the song Imagine. She loved it and it often comes on the radio at just the right times.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My table will have three empty chairs: my pépere, my Aunt Alice and my Uncle Nap. Holiday get together always make me nostalgic for the get together I had as child..and these three were always there. Holidays have changed, and I still love them, but they’ll never be the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My dad will have been gone two years in January. I associate double digit hundreds with him (e.g. 11 hundred). Not sure what a sign is but I think of him whenever I see one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would want my sister Sherrie sitting there. At the age of 32, she lost a 4-year battle to Ovarian Cancer. I have never felt a sadness so great, that I literally wailed. I have not gotten any kind of sign from her…yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would want my friend Danny at my table. He passed of leukemia when he was 33 and I would love to see him again and have him here with us. He had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone so I associate hearts with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have my Mom in that empty chair. She always had the “relish dish” ready for Thanksgiving dinner and her favorite was the cranberry sauce. Whenever I see bobby pins and lady bugs I think of my mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love to hear these beautiful signs. Since writing “The Butterfly Club: “Is That You?” I’ve shared in so many incredible, undeniable signs people have shared after a loved one has died. Signs are such a powerful communication that are loved ones are still near and present in our lives. If I could have a loved one sitting at our table this Thanksgiving it would be my mother. When I made our Thanksgiving dressing today it was like she was there making it with me as we made it together for so many years. Her calloused hands, her magic touch for cooking anything, the way she could put on a dinner for 32 people as if she were cooking for 2! She is with me in so many memories but on very special occasions a red cardinal will appear just when I miss her most! Signs have the power to comfort and heal in the most extraordinary ways!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This thanksgiving I would like my Uncle to be here with us. He passed last year and I have seen the toll it has taken on my family, specifically my grandma. He deserves to be here with us all. I see him in every butterfly I find, they were released at his burial and ever since I see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There are a couple family member that I would love to have in that open chair. The one I would like to be in that open chair that most is my mom. There are so many things that I wish that I had gotten to tell her before she passed. And I do believe in signs though I think the only ones I get are the occasional dream with her in it. Unfortunately no messages though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There haven’t been recent deaths in my family. From many years past though, we’d love to have my grandparents, my husband’s parents, and our cats at our table. My daughter-in-law lost her sister a little over a year ago. It would have been good to have her seated at our table. As for signs, I’m not sure. Perhaps, a cardinal for my grandparents as it’s a favorite bird of theirs; snow for my husband’s parents as they loved to ski–they still did up through their 80s; dogs for my daughter-in-law’s sister as she loved dogs and had a pack of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hearing the song “come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners, I think of my dear friend that was taken away way too early. I smile every time I think of her and would have the best memories of us all having family meals and holidays together.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Martha, I don’t know if my comment for this post posted, I was having trouble with it, I dont know if I can do this, but this was my comment for the post:   Good morning,  I would have my dad and my mom on that empty chair.  My dad was on Hospice for only 1 week before he passed and they were so very helpful. He has been gone for 17 yrs now and I still miss talking to him , he was a very good dad to my 5 siblings and I. He always instilled love and that we should always be there for each other. My mom passed away in 2019 and she was also very sick, she was not in Hospice though , losing both my parents was bittersweet, they were both hurting so much towards the end of their lives, I was very fortunate to be with both of them till their last breath. When my mom passed away in the hospital she was so very very thirsty and they would not let her have any water we could only put wet wash cloths to her lips, it was so very hard seeing her that way and it always stayed with me. Well, after I returned home,  I was sitting on our patio swing and I saw a butterfly going from flower to flower getting nectar and getting its fill of it, well, right then and there it gave me a great feeling that my mom was not thirsty anymore, seeing that butterfly getting its fill  let me know that my mom was fine and that she was not thirsty anymore.  Thank you so much for what you do for humanity . God Bless you and your family. 

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I would pick my fiancé’s great grandmother, I never met her and he and his family always talk so much about her. I would love to hear stories from her of my fiancé and for our kids to get to meet her too

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My son Bobby is who I would choose. He passed in 2016. He loved food!! Thanksgiving was the holiday he loved!! As for signs from him, Mari witnessed the greatest profound sign I received . My son shut off the electricity in her therapy room when we were having a session. Awesome experience. Mari also received a feather from my son’s wing. I also found a white feather sticking straight up in the ground in my yard. One day driving home from work I saw the clouds form a wing and feather in the sky!!! This truly is because I told Mari in a session with her that I would want to have my son send me a feather from his wings. Thanks Mari

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Matthew. My brother, my only sibling. It’s his chair. We had him for 44 years. The chair he sits in is not small. As he sits we celebrate his life and our lives with him while we mourn his unexpected and tragic death and our lives, now, without him. We celebrate and mourn the family we were. His chair forces us to acknowledge the unwanted changes to our lives. It reminds us we are mourning our “old” selves.
    The chair is grand and heavy. We are in a dark, black, well trying to claw towards the light. Somedays it’s dim. Somedays it’s bright. Somedays there is no light at all and we sit to rest. We often choose the dark place, the pain, and the tears because that’s when our connection to Matthew seems the strongest. It’s a special and unique bond. The chair reminds us we are in a place, on a journey, down a path, in a well both together and alone. His death is seconds ago and a lifetime ago at the same time. The chair reminds us that April 17th, Matthew was here. It was the greatest day of our lives and we didn’t even know. It reminds us how we didn’t know. Matthew does not sit alone. He sits with bags and boxes. Gifts.
    Many with filled with tears and heartache but most are overflowing with memories, joys, excitements. The largest of the boxes though, is the one filled with love, a heart that can never break as it is surrounded and held together with the fortune of the unbroken ties of our family. His chair is full.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dr. Dias is a God herself doing Gods work to make the world a better place. She has changed the lives of so many people for the better, grieving or not. Just knowing her makes life more beautiful.
    This thanksgiving our empty chair belongs to my step mother Lesley who passed away a month and a half ago. She has the energy, life, smile, and laugh that could light up the world. She sends me signs in the form of hummingbirds and anything to do with Melissa Etheridge. I love and miss her so much and I also love Mari Dias beyond words ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I would love for my brother Frank, to share a seat at our Thanksgiving, as he always did. As my only sibling, we shared so much about our Irish family. Not only was he my best friend but an unbelievable brother to me. Still feeling his sudden and unexpected loss each day.
    Trish ☘️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I truly can’t thank Professor Dias enough for her positive influence and professional insight in the counseling field throughout my graduate studies. Two years post grad and I am reflecting on that time of my life with tremendous gratitude. I will always be a supporter of this incredible woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. As I age, I find that the empty chair could easily be filled by many…too many. My father, my mother, my brother, and so many of my close friends who have gone on, all come to mind. Mari, what you do for grieving people is so rewarding to them, and I suspect to you as well. I commend your dedication to helping others in their time of need.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There have been so many deaths amoung my family and friends over the last 3 years. May their souls and all those of the faithful departed through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. If I could only bring one of them back to share Thanksgiving with, it would be my Mother. I miss her so much.
    With your books, you are doing a much needed service to those who grieve. God bless your future endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Just one empty chair? So many have gone. It would have to be my father. Gone 40 years.
    I was 22 when he passed at the age of 48. It was mt first experience with cancer & death. I tear up as I write this. He was the only child of my Grandparents, a Police Officer, Husband, Dad and friend to many.
    I do believe in signs. It’s finding a 4-leaf clover in the month of May. For many years I didn’t really know why this made me think of him. Recently, I learned that when my Dad was serving in Korea, my Grandmother would look for a 4-leaf clover every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My daughter, Katie. Passed age 41 three and a half years ago. She sends my broken heart feathers, coins, 11:11 every day and the love of her children. I swear she was with me at her sons hockey game the other night. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The empty seat at the table belongs to my Nana. She was the epitome of what a Nana should be. Always kind, ready to listen and so full of love. I miss her dearly.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Although I have lost just about everyone my choice would be to have my brother back, sitting at my table. We were inseparable even when we were apart if that makes sense we went through a lot together and we were attached at the heart. He was my best friend he was my biggest pain in the neck and I loved him with all of my heart he was my constant and I miss having that around. Even in his sickness, I felt a sense of safety knowing he was with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I stand at the stove recreating a few of my mother’s best loved recipes. How I wish she was still here with us. But I vow to keep her spirit alive for my very large Italian family ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  25. My mother passed away this past March, and so my grief is raw. I would love to have her in that chair with us at Thanksgiving to thank her emphatically for being the best mother I could imagine.
    Mari’s two volumes of Grief Speak have helped me come to accept and move forward with my loss, because I know better now how this is a shared experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree ! My dad . It has been 3 years and I miss him every day . I know he is still with me in a different way though -guiding me and watching over me always. In that I take great comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. My mother, gone sixteen years ago the Monday after Thanksgiving, the 27th that year. So though this is my favorite holiday, it is also bittersweet.
    I believe in signs, but my sign is of my father. Shortly after he died, I dreamt that I was walking up the entrance to my childhood home, a “three decker” tenement house. As I approached the door, I noticed that the walls to the outside were made of glass. I saw Dad hug Mom and whisper in her ear, “Tell Connie that I’m all right.” He died at age sixty-two, thirty-eight years ago..

    Liked by 1 person

  27. My dad. He died 18 months ago. He was a vegetable farmer with 11 children. We have done our best to plant vegetables in his yard since he became very sick in 2017. I grew Big Boy tomatoes in buckets in my back yard. He would be proud. The signs I see from him are my close encounters with large birds. I do grief counseling with children too, as a school psychologist. I help them create a memory story. I type and they pick out the clip art to go with it. We also paint kindness shells in memory of the loved one, a great way to put their words of wisdom into the world. Hope to meet you at the Expo.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. The person I would most want in that chair is my beloved deceased grandmother. She was more than just a grandmother, she was also a best friend! And her birthday is November 25th, so we always celebrated it at Thanksgiving. The thing that most reminds me of her are the beautiful bone china tea cups she used, even for every day tea. She told me to always put a silver spoon into the cup before pouring in the boiling tea so the cup wouldn’t crack. I loved her old-fashioned ways.

    Liked by 2 people

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