Team

Eleanor

Program Director and Co-Founder

My grandmother’s name was Eleanor. My mother was pregnant with me when my grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 60. When I was born a month later I was aptly named “Eleanor” after her. Although I never had a chance to meet my grandmother, I am told that she was gracious and kind. My mother spoke about her often and told me that she thought of her every day.

My mother’s name was Evelyn. I was pregnant with my first child when she died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. It only follows that when I gave birth to a baby girl months later, I named her “Evelyn” after my mother. My mother was compassionate, warm, and nurturing. My daughter never had the chance to meet her, but I talk about her all the time. I think of my mother every day, cry about her once in a while, and dream of her less than I would like.

When I started working with grieving families many years ago, I wasn’t sure how the recent death of my mother would shape my ability to help others facing similar circumstances. As is typical with loss, the death of my mother had a profound effect on me, in good ways and bad. I soon discovered that losing her had given me the perspective and strength I needed to help others walking through a darkness that had become quite familiar to me. And thankfully, whatever help I gave to others I have gotten back in kind, for it is only because of the wisdom of other grievers that I have been able to find peace and acceptance for my own loss.

My name is Eleanor. I live in Baltimore, Maryland with my husband, two daughters, and naughty Golden Retriever. I received my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.

Litsa

Program Director and Co-Founder

My name is Litsa. Litsa Elizabeth Williams. Litsa from my grandmother: my mother’s mother. This is the name for the crazy Greek in me; the loud, passionate, emotional me. The me who hugs people I just met and believes that food is love. The me who was taught that weddings, baptisms, and funerals should include every person you’ve ever met and that 15 minutes late is on time.

Elizabeth from my grandmother: my father’s mother. This is the name for the rest of me. The me who was taught that some emotions should be quiet and all problems should be private. Who was taught that there are clear lines between acquaintances, friends, and family and that weddings, baptisms, and funerals are small, inimate events. The me who knows that you should always arrive 5 minutes early.

Williams from my father, who died before my 19th birthday; before I had declared a major in college, gotten my first car, first house, or met the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with. This is the name for the me that was raised on sarcasm, math problems, and college basketball. The me who knows that Mick Jagger was right: you can’t always get what you want.

I have taken a winding road, from England and a Master’s in Philosophy, to Baltimore and a Master’s in Social Work, to working with homeless adults, troubled kids, and grieving families. It is those individuals who have taught more than I could ever have hoped to learn in my 20 years of schooling. Though I never imagined myself here I am confident it is where I am supposed to be.

I live in Charm City, with my husband and my rescue pit bull. And I believe that 5 minute late is absolutely on time.

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