Questions for Dr. Leary

Dr. Leary is a psychologist and certified grief therapist who consults with LifeNet Health. Her responses reflect her professional opinion to general questions. Individuals struggling with complicated grief are encouraged to seek the care of a professional.


My daughter died unexpectedly 3 years ago and donated her heart, kidneys and liver. We also donated her eyes and tissue…Read More


When someone spends a lot of time with a loved one, they get to know the silly little things…the guilty pleasures, the instantaneous knee jerk ‘ew!’ responses too.  Much of the time, I find myself enjoying something my little one… Read More


I have lost my beloved childhood sweetheart. We were going to get married young, our lives took different directions. After 40 years, we reunited and have been married 4 charmed years.  Read More


My son was an organ donor in Feb. 1991 in Louisiana. We now live in Texas. This year he would have graduated and I am finding it hard to…  Read More


My daughter died almost six years ago. It doesn’t happen much now but every so often I see, hear or think of something which makes me remember her. It could be a favorite cereal in a commercial, someone who resembles her, or …  Read More


Why do we find meaning in attending the In Celebration & Remembrance ceremonies year after year? Friends may say this is really sad that we have not “gotten over” the death of our daughter, but for us…   Read More


My son Erik died suddenly in his bed after an accidental overdose. Someone gave him a fentanyl patch and told him to suck on it. He was 22. My question is I dream constantly…   Read More



  • Not to judge myself or my feelings
  • Not to utter or think any rules or “shoulds”…   Read More


I know that as we cross into a New Year people will expect me to embrace all the resolutions for happiness for 2004. Is it wrong for me not to be ready…   Read More


I am approaching the first anniversary of my husband’s death. I know I am probably more sensitive to this date than my friends and many of my own family…   Read More     


My husband and I lost our youngest child one year ago. I am really concerned about my husband. He rarely talks about our daughter’s death. At home…   Read More


My older son, age 46, died 7 months ago; my younger son died 8 years ago when he was 36.  Both deaths were unexpected and related to heart for the older and subarachnoid hemorrhage…   Read More


The current newsletter states “relationships are the building blocks of the evolution of our spirit”. That is an unhappy and daunting thought for me…   Read More


My daughter died four months ago and my world is still reeling. I feel out of control and out of touch. Friends keep asking me what they can do for me…   Read More


I want to know why I struggle to let my son go. He passed away five months ago at the age of 18. He had just graduated from high 3 weeks prior to passing. He was just full of energy and love...  Read More



Meet Dr. Leary

Lani Leary, Ph.D. specializes in work with chronically ill, dying, and bereaved clients. She has worked for the past 25 years as a psychotherapist in private practice and in 6 hospices across the country.

Lani has spoken nationally at over 250 conferences and served as a professor of Death Studies at George Mason University.

She developed a nationally awarded program on bereavement and writes regularly on the subject on her website, the blogNo One Has To Be Alone for and contributes the Healing Tears column for LifeNet Health’s Donor Family Quarterly.

Her book, No One Has to Die Alone: Preparing for a Meaningful Death, was released in April 2012 by Simon & Schuster Publishing Co.

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