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Nov 1 / Cheryl Deep

The Power of In-Person

This is Peter’s blog and his space, but I’m hijacking a bit of it to share powerful feedback that we received after one of Peter’s presentations on “Grief and Healing.” I’m in charge of media relations, making sure that what we do at the Institute of Gerontology is seen and understood by the world outside these walls. When a person takes the time to hand-write a note of appreciation, I listen.  Allow me to share these heartfelt words from Mary Kumbier, director of philanthropy at United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation in Chelsea, Michigan.

Dear Dr. Lichtenberg,

Your presentation was powerful and personal! The combination of your education, your personal experiences, and your understanding of seniors connected you to the audience in an intimate way. Candidly sharing your stories, describing grieving phases and thoughtfully answering questions, created a connection to attendees.  It also provided crucial support for many people present.

One of our Chelsea campus residents shared that she appreciated your stories and suggestions for coping with grief. They helped her recognize that she was “on the right path.” This was her first outing since her husband died in July 2014.

We are honored and truly blessed that you were willing to travel to Dexter and share this presentation.  Thank you.


Sometimes, especially in grief, nothing can substitute for “presence,” for being there. Thank you, Peter, for making the extra effort to share your story not only in this blog but person-to-person.

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us and who is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” — Goethe