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Dealing with the grief of losing a child


Last updated 5/14/2020 at 2:48pm

Sherrie Kolb-Cassel is the author of "Improvising Grief."

FALLBROOK – Former longtime resident Sherrie Kolb-Cassel nèe Gonzales published a book, "Improvising Grief." She has lived through nearly every parent's worst fear: the loss of her son and only child. Rikki died from physical effects of complex addiction.

Kolb-Cassel's response to her pain has been to establish and maintain "After the Storm,' a blog for parents who have also lost children to addiction or to overdose. Her role is twofold – she writes about her own journey through grief and she facilitates and moderates the posts and replies of other grieving parents who have incurred the same loss as she has.

Kolb-Cassel also maintains a blog, "Grief to Gratitude: Rediscovering Joy after Loss," which is open to the public, irrespective of relationship.

Most of the pieces contained in "Improvising Grief" began as posts or responses in the blog. She writes of her pain and her triumphs, her complicated relationships with the memory of her son, with the god of her understanding, with her son's son and with her fellow grieving parents. Her writing is immediate, profound and important; it is also occasionally visceral and always utterly and beautifully human. The book is available on Amazon.

Kolb-Cassel has a bachelor's degree in psychology and began work on her master's degree in social work recently. She lives with her husband, Ben; grandson, Louie, and three cats in the Joshua Tree area. Her blog is at

Submitted by Sherrie Kolb-Cassel.


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