Death By Design

Death by Design

Kimberly C. Paul wants to radically change the way people face end of life, and she’s using her extensive experience as a storyteller to do just that. From the set of Saturday Night Live in New York City, to casting for

Eileen Robertson Hamra

Season 3, Ep. 40
Eileen Robertson Hamra is the woman you meet—at the gym, in the coffee shop, or dropping off the kids at school—with a story that draws you in the minute she begins to tell it. At age forty-one, after losing her husband in a plane crash, she became a single mother to three children aged eight, seven and four. Overnight, the man she thought she would spend eternity with, the literal pilot of her family’s wonderful life, was gone. When everything seemed broken, the future she dreamed about now impossible, Eileen had to make choices she never imagined making.What she did choose to do was peel herself out of bed those first few weeks of mourning, and with constant love and support from family and friends, she found a well of inner strength and she dipped down into it. Working through her own grief and the grief of her children, Eileen experienced a gradual spiritual awakening. The result? On the other side of tragedy, she found new love, gave birth to a miracle child, and rediscovered her calling: to build stronger, loving and ever evolving families.Eileen believes we don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose the story we tell when asked, “What happened?”With the intention of helping others tap into their inner resilience and reimagine adversity as an opportunity for growth, Eileen shares her story of loss and rebuilding in her memoir, Time to Fly. Because of her story—thanks to her story—Eileen has dedicated her life’s work to carrying on the legacy of the family she grew up with, the family she created with Brian and the family she continues to grow with Mike.Eileen holds transformational retreats in Chicago, Los Cabos and elsewhere. As a public speaker, certified yogi, holistic nutritionist, and life coach with an MBA, Eileen brings a practical, holistic and humanistic approach to everything she does. From creative advising to impact investing, to building strength emotionally or physically, Eileen holds space to stay focused on what she believes matters most—family, friends, and community.

Mariah Riess, MSW

Season 3, Ep. 37
Mariah Riess tells her story:MY STORYOn any given day, from my practice in Dover, MA, I speak with weight management clients from Seattle to Baltimore who seek compassionate support and expertise. Via phone, Skype or in person, I help many do the seemingly impossible: lose weight and develop skills to prevent weight gain.On a parallel track are clients who have experienced heartbreaking loss: both human and four-footed. Grief is an experience deserving compassion and expert care. If dismissed, suppressed or silenced, a world of pain may remain.In a culture that is ever hesitant to truly acknowledge the oh-so-human phenomenon of mourning, I have dedicated myself to providing a home for a different, kinder path.I discovered my constellations of callings through a series of events over the course of life.I began working with overweight patients in 1982. As an early stage employee of Health Management Resources,a Boston based start-up committed to providing effective, high quality behavioral treatment for overweight, I became Director of Overweight Treatment.HMR, a company on the rise and requiring many hours of dedication from each employee, was the perfect training ground as I was determined to make a difference with a population in despair.In my role, I co-led teams of trainers who implemented the program nationally,rapidly sharing and bringing this effective treatment method to many.Fast-forward fifteen years, while raising two children, Kerrin and Devon, and wanting to spend more time closer to home, I launched my private practice in Dover, MA.Bringing a compassionate, effective approach that would have a lasting impact requires teaching clients skills for weight loss and the prevention of weight regain. Working closely with my clients and having an appreciation for the deep challenge health management represents, allowed individuals and families to re-set, attaining lower weights and establishing healthier lifestyles.My practice quickly grew.While working closely with my clients on weight over many years, I also shared their personal losses - a parent, a child, a friend. In addition, I experienced the illness and passing of several dear to me. As a result, in 2013, I began to explore the profound challenges related to the process of mourning. This path included post-graduate training and many hours as a hospice volunteer. With these experiences and training, I incorporated grief support counseling into my practice.“The world of loss is omnipresent in our lives. Grief does not have an expiration date. Often complex, heartbreaking, and confusing, loss may be difficult to make sense of or for others to be around. Grief and loss work is the way in which I can hold the hand of another and not let go, when others might.”