Writing Spots

The follow are interviews and guest blogs on a number of websites and a digital magazine publication in case you missed any.

Grief Magazine

The "S" Word

October 2, 2018

I was sitting at my son’s hockey game when I got a text from a client I hadn’t seen in a while. It didn’t take me long to figure out she might be in trouble. I said to her directly, “It sounds like you might be feeling suicidal.” Her response was, “Not tonight.” That indicated to me she was immediately safe, but has been at risk recently. We developed a plan for connection.

Those are moments that I sometimes feel gripped with fear, wondering who in their right mind would be a counselor for a living. It feels overwhelming to be a part of the responsibility for a person’s life. At the same time, I know from the depths of my being, that this is what I’m called to, to be able to stay present with people’s profound grief and pain.

Totally Buffalo

Children and Grief - Letting Kids Feel What They Feel

March 7, 2018

Written by Lifestyle Contributor, Darcy Thiel, MA, LMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State.


I am often asked whether children should attend wakes and funerals and my answer is always the same. It depends on your child. Kids should not be shielded from the truth of death, no matter how young they are. Of course, you need to develop age appropriate language for them.

As far as rituals go, I think it is very important to know your child and his/her personality. If they know themselves, they can make their own decision. When Frankie was just four, his grandmother died. Frankie has always been a kid that you couldn’t give pat answers to. He just wasn’t buying it. He would process things and then come up with some tough ones.

Totally Buffalo

I Dreaded the Thought of Writing About the Latest Shooting in Florida, But I Did It Anyway

February 22, 2018

I was asked by a couple of different sources to write about the latest shooting in Florida. I dreaded the thought. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first, or second, or third time this has happened. What is there to say other than it is horrific? And most conversations end up in one of two places- guns and/or mental illness. I have little desire to discuss either issue, so it caused me to ask myself why.

After a few conversations with people, I realized I could come at this topic in a dozen different ways. Maybe it wouldn’t be so difficult to write about after all, but which one to focus on?  Then I had a talk with my friend Darren and I came up with an overarching theme. He gave me permission to steal his verbiage.

Probably the simplest explanation as to why I find it so difficult to talk about these kinds of incidents, is what seems to be like a resurgence of polarization in our country. Perhaps it has always been like this and I just wasn’t aware. From my limited perspective, it feels like the latest election has caused the problem to skyrocket. Now it has become Trump lovers or Trump haters. Guns or no guns, etc..

Totally Buffalo

Your Relationship Is The Priority, Higher Than Any One's Personal Individual Needs

January 22, 2018

A friend of mine has been in marriage counseling for a while and I have been impressed and intrigued by some of the interventions her therapist has used. Being a couple’s counselor myself, I am always looking, reading, searching for anything helpful so I asked my friend to ask her therapist who he studies. That was how I discovered Dr. Stan Tatkin. I’ve been listening to lectures on the Internet and recently bought one of his books.

I guess when I think about it, some of his ideas are similar to concepts that have been around for decades but just with different lingo tied to them. But many of his thoughts are completely refreshing to me. I resonate strongly with them, but recognize they fly in the face of some of the concepts that we have come to accept as Truth.

In our individualistic society, we have been taught over and over to take care of ourselves. We must be happy with ourselves before we can be happy with another. Similarly, we must love ourselves before we can love another. One of my least favorite sayings is, “Stop looking for love. That’s when it comes to you, when you aren’t looking for it.”

Grief Digest Magazine

Month One After the Loss of Your Spouse

March 15, 2017

You just never get over some grief. You learn to live with it by your side. It changes (thank God) and the intensity diminishes with time, but it never goes away completely. Grief is unique to every person. Some things are universal and considered “normal,” but every personality processes grief differently.

As I’ve gone back to read some of the journal entries I wrote in the first months after my husband Tim died, I was surprised at how dark and sad they were. There was a big difference in my writing while Tim was ill and after he was gone. I find myself wanting to water the entries down, making myself sound less crazy than I really felt, but I have resisted the urge to do so.

Grief Digest Magazine

Losses and Gains

March 13, 2017

Here’s the thing about life. It’s not fair. It never claimed to be and it never will be. Suffering isn’t distributed fairly either. It never is. When you experience a loss or hardship, there is no Cosmic Force that checks your name so you aren’t handed any more. My husband Tim died at 48 from gallbladder cancer just five months after his diagnosis. Clearly, that rocked our world. But this article is about some of the other losses my children and I experienced around that time as well.

During the five months Tim was sick, our cat Oreo, received a cancer diagnosis as well. After a great month on steroids, he died. Digging Oreo’s grave was one of the last physical jobs that Tim was able to do. There was not a soul in the house that didn’t understand the irony of what was happening.

January 5, 2015

This is my first non-fiction character interview, so today you are getting Darcy Thiel, the author. Enjoy!


Tell me a little about yourself:  


My name is Darcy Thiel and I am a Mental Health Counselor in Western New York. I also have an organizing business, and recently started Baby Coop Publishing. I have authored two books and lecture throughout the area. In addition, I am a mother of a 12 year old son.


What do you like to do in your spare time: Spare time with all that going on? LOL! I enjoy music. I am part of our worship band at church and also love to hear concerts and bands when I get the chance.


What is your favorite color and why: Purple. I think it’s a warm and inviting color but still has energy.


Preparing for the Unexpected

November 4, 2014

ADeath and dying are curious concepts. The one universal thing that every human being shares, regardless of gender or culture, is death. And until that time comes, most of us are faced with the loss of others we love. Yet, in our American culture, the topics of death and dying are taboo.

Why bother?

When we are young, most of us feel invincible. We can’t imagine our mortality and don’t want to be bothered with thinking about it. However, if we give these tough concepts our attention while they are still “theoretical,” and not when we’re mired in the emotional thick of it, we will set up a good foundation for sound decisions when actually facing them.

dd News Story here

Bitter and Sweet: The Paradox of Living with Dying by Darcy Thiel, MA, LMHC

March 3, 2014

The name of my book is “Bitter and Sweet, A Family’s Journey with Cancer.” Here is a brief summary. In April of 2010, my husband Tim began to have some strange sensations in his side. On May 7, we found ourselves facing stage IV gallbladder cancer rather than a simple gallbladder removal as planned. Five months and one week later, my husband died. Those five months were the most difficult and horrifying time of our lives. It was also an extremely beautiful time for us. We found ourselves using the phrase “bitter and sweet” so often during those five months, that it was an obvious title choice. What follows is the short version of our story…


~~~~~~~ Our lives had been full of paradoxes. How do you fight for your life and yet accept mortality at the same time? How do you maintain optimism, which is necessary for health, and prepare for your death and get your affairs in order? How do you understand God’s love and compassion, and yet experience cancer and suffering?




Interview with Darcy Thiel

February 17, 2014

What does Darcy do when she doesn't feel like writing? What does she do in the marketing arena to bring in sales? How does Darcy feel about book signings?


Find out in today's author interview: 


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

Darcy Thiel Talks Publishing

March 15, 2013

If you’ve been following the Industry Friday series, you are familiar with guest blogger Darcy Thiel. Darcy has written a book about losing her husband to cancer in 2010 and up until now she and I have been discussing our experiences with caregiving (her interview with me is here http://helpforhealing.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/guest-blog-part-2/). Today we discuss the process of writing the actual book and getting published. The timing couldn’t be more perfect because tomorrow is her book’s launch party! I’m very excited for her.


Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of writing your book Bitter & Sweet?


A. It feels sometimes like “grief brain” is permanent. So accomplishing anything can be hard on some days, much less a huge project like writing a book. Two things were hard. One thing, were the days when a wave of grief hit. I could talk/write/process for days and even weeks like I was just telling someone else’s story. Then for no reason that I could identify, it would be a crying, grieving day and the subject matter was larger than life. The second part was learning new things. I would have given up at least a trillion times if my dear friend Brigitte wasn’t working with me full time. She does all the research and information finding. She has the patience of a saint coupled with a brilliant mind!


Darcy Thiel - Part Deux

February 15, 2013

Last month, I had the pleasure of introducing mental health counselor and author Darcy Thiel on Riding Bitch on 1/4/13. We continue our ongoing conversation today on the subject of caregiving, and invite you to join in with any comments and/or questions. My half of the conversation will be on Darcy’s blog next Thursday.


Q:  Darcy, had you had any previous experience with caregiving before your husband Tim was diagnosed with Stage IV gallbladder cancer in 2010?


A:  Yes.  My mother was sick in 2007.  She was finally diagnosed with colon cancer and died three weeks later.  I consider that my biggest learning curve (not that you ever stop learning).  I spoke up when I was concerned or things didn’t seem right.  But the doctors and nurses always seemed to have an explanation for things.  I tried to be very rational and told myself that I may have a good head on my shoulders, but I was no doctor.  I had to trust the medical professionals and what they were saying.  This was one situation where I followed my head before my heart.


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Darcy Thiel

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