Richard Mercer, MA, MLS, received his master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2015. He has worked with hospice patients and their families in Florida and at TRU Community Care since the late 1980s. He also served as a grief support group facilitator for three years at TRU. In his previous 12-year career as a medical librarian serving medical professionals, patients, and their families, he learned the healing value of being present with hearts broken through loss and life transitions. It was through his personal healing following the death of his mother that Richard decided to return to graduate school and support others as they re-create themselves and their lives following the death of their loved ones.
It is common for those grieving a loss to feel as if their lives and sense of self have been shattered or deconstructed, leaving them floating on the dark sea with no land in sight nor wind in their sails. It is at such disorienting times that healing takes the form of meaning reconstruction in the experience of loss. Isak Dinesen once said, “All sorrows can be borne when put into a story.” As a companion in such darkness, Richard supports the natural re-creation of personal narratives that include a new relationship with the lost loved ones through stories and inspired influences that continue for the rest of one’s life.
In addition to time with his partner, Juli, and dog, Lucy, Richard enjoys such contemplative activities as gardening, music, and getting outside. He also volunteers as a pet loss support group facilitator for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.