Before completing college, Mary Mac had experienced the death of four friends – two teenagers to drunk drivers, two college students to inoperable cancer. Later she would sustain many other deaths of family members and close friends including the murder of her former husband’s 11 year-old daughter, which took them on an 18 year journey to help solve the crime. It was these life experiences that led her to become involved in the field of bereavement.
Mary is an award-winning author, speaker, private bereavement/grief coach, nationally-known crime victims’ rights advocate, and President of the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. She trained Assistant District Attorneys and Homicide Detectives on how to better communicate with crime victims and served as their liaison with families of homicide victims, often joining them at murder trials. She served as Founding Treasurer for the political action committee, Justice for All, and helped shape numerous pieces of legislation in New York to favor crime victims.
She developed and edited the award-winning National Directory of Bereavement Support Groups and Services, Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death, Homicide: Understanding the Unique and Complex Challenges Survivors Face, and other works in this field. She uses her expertise to assist the bereaved through her AskMaryMac.com website where her bereavement articles, blog and forums help hurting people better understand their journey.
While there are many organizations whose mission is to help dying children, such as hospice, Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude, or 9/11/01 children, Mary birthed the Foundation for Grieving Children as a response to the very real need to assist children regardless of how their family members had died. The seed for the foundation was planted in her spirit in the late 1980s when she could find limited assistance for siblings and children of those who had been murdered.
The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. is the first national public charity whose mission is to raise funds and provide grants to community-based organizations which assist, educate, counsel and comfort grieving children, teens, young adults and their families after the death of a loved one through any circumstances.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Scranton and an MBA in Finance/International Business from Fordham University. She was honored by the New York State Senate for her work with Survivors of Homicide Victims, and has been featured in newspaper articles in the New York Daily News, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel and other media. She has also appeared on radio and television shows including CBS’s Up to the Minute, and News 12 Long Island.
She has presented workshops at numerous Parents of Murdered Children national conferences, the World Gathering of Bereavement, and grieving children conferences. She also served as press spokesperson for POMC conferences.
In 2009, she received the “Healing Hands” award from A Caring Hand, New York City’s only center for grieving children, for her tireless efforts in helping grieving children, and the University of Scranton’s “Frank O’Hara” award, the highest recognition given to distinguished alumni.
It is her passion to address the unmet needs of grieving children, teens and young adults which birthed the creation of the foundation and to help bereaved adults better understand their grieving process, heal and revitalize their lives after a loved one’s death through AskMaryMac, her products and services.
If you’re looking for someone to give a superficial speech, you don’t want Mary Mac.
Whether she’s educating a group of corporate managers to the needs of bereaved employees so their departments will run smoother in times of crisis, or going in deep with folks who have sustained major loss, her goal is to transition each attendee to move from the emotional level they currently find themselves, to a deeper understanding of what they are feeling and move them to a higher level of stability.
Through stories and exercises, she shares the pain, the frustration, the turmoil one encounters along this journey. She gently helps attendees work through their personal challenges, perhaps issues they’ve hidden even from themselves, which are keeping them stuck for much too long.
Not a woman to hold back, she will challenge her audience through tough love to look at exactly where they are now, acknowledge it and consider what being at this place is costing them emotionally, physically, spiritually and, sometimes, financially.
Breakout the tissue packets…but after she’s visited, a sense of calm and direction fills her audience.
Click here to connect with her.
There is a definite difference between grief counseling and grief coaching. Not everyone who has a death in the family is in need of therapy, although some clients will do both.
Many people, especially professionals, need assistance to reorganize their emotional and professionals lives during their grieving process. They know they need back-up, or support from someone who understands their pain and can still help them realign their life so their grief will not overwhelm them. In this day of layoffs and downsizing, it is even more difficult to keep your eye on the ball at work and still attend to difficulties and challenges at home.
Mary Mac helps you develop a new plan of action to give you the time your need to grieve, help those in your life who are also grieving, give you the answers and strategies you need to move forward and serve as your partner through this very difficult and unsettling time in your life, especially if this is the first major death loss you’ve experienced.
To have a free half-hour telephone consultation to see if grief coaching is right for you, please send her a note here with your contact info and a brief understanding of the challenges you face right now.