We chose this image for our first 2020 newsletter not only for its striking landscape but for the beautiful reflection of the mountain colors against the silver surface of the lake. So much lies beneath the surface yet the brightness of the colors reminds us that life is about change and even a small ripple on the water gives us something to reflect upon.
Message From Our Founder: Marianne Gouveia.
One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . " What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you" For many of us, 2019 was another year living our lives without our beloved children, parents, siblings, and friends. Even with our inability to understand the "whys" of our circumstances, we can find comfort in knowing that deep inside there are great possibilities for hope. Knowing that because of the strength of the love we hold in our hearts, we can laugh again, we can have positive relationships with others, and we can turn our losses into good for others.
In February of 2020, four years will have passed since my son Eric died. I still share many common fears. Will I ever feel better? What if I forget him? How long do I have to wait to see him again? The truth is, no matter how tragic losing my son is, I am more grateful than ever to have had him for 27 years, and even more blessed to be open to being in a different relationship with him. He is in Heaven and I am here on earth. Love is eternal in my view, and in time, when it is my time, I envision a beautiful reunion with him. For all that I am grateful.
I have found some things especially helpful as I walk the winding paths of my grief journey. When I miss Eric, I focus on remembering the good times – browsing through old photos, remembering summer vacations, family get-togethers. I reflect on what a good man he was and, had he lived, what good man he would be today. I sometimes journal, looking for answers in the words I write, exploring what I have learned and what I have still to learn as I grow from my loss. I also think about other outcomes I would like from my life. I have two beautiful living sons and two beautiful stepdaughters – how do I want to be in their lives? I work on releasing myself from any self-imposed outcomes, but rather, focus on being present and mindful of what life can be for me, my family, and those whom I care deeply about.
I am grateful for all the support EricsHouse has received from friends, donors, volunteers, and others who make our mission of helping survivors heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We have done so much in 2019, and as I reflect on our goals for 2020, I am honored and humbled to be able to serve others on their unique grief journey.
Much love to our community of very special people.

Meet a Team Member -- Jean Nictakis
Jean Nictakis
Spiritual Director, Reiki Master, Grief Companion
Jean is a certified Spiritual Director and Reiki Master. She is also a seasoned grief companion specializing in a traumatic loss. She has a BA in Communications and has raised three children. She has extensively studied the world’s five major religions, which allows her to have a well-rounded understanding of individual foundational beliefs. She has been part of EricsHouse since its inception.

One of the ways Jean helps our clients is by performing Reiki with them. Reiki is a form of energy healing. Jean uses Reiki to help heal trauma by letting energy move through them. Reiki is gaining in popularity especially for grief because it aids in relaxation, assists the body's natural healing processes, and helps to develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well being.
For those of us who have lost someone we love from suicide or addiction, we face a mountain of grief. We often get the question "how will I get through this?", "Are my feelings normal?", "What do I need to do to get through this?". Here is an article by Dr. Alan Wolfelt that addresses the six needs of mourning.

The Journey Through Grief: The Six Needs of Mourning
Reprinted with permission from Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. For more information on grief and healing and to order Dr. Wolfelt’s books, visit
The death of someone loved changes our lives forever. And the movement from the “before” to the “after” is almost always a long, painful journey. From my own experiences with loss as well as those of the thousands of grieving people I have worked with over the years, I have learned that if we are to heal we cannot skirt the outside edges of our grief. Instead, we must journey all through it, sometimes meandering the side roads, sometimes plowing directly into its raw center. I have also learned that the journey requires mourning. There is an important difference, you see. Grief is what you think and feel on the inside after someone you love dies. Mourning is the outward expression of those thoughts and feelings. To mourn is to be an active participant in our grief journeys. We all grieve when someone we love dies, but if we are to heal, we must also mourn. There are six “yield signs” you are likely to encounter on your journey through grief—what I call the “reconciliation needs of mourning.” For while your grief journey will be an intensely personal, unique experience, all mourners must yield to this set of basic human needs if they are to heal.
Need 1: Acknowledging the reality of the death
Need 2: Embracing the pain of the loss
Need 3: Remembering the person who died
Need 4: Developing a new self-identity
Need 5: Searching for meaning
Need 6: Receiving ongoing support from others
Reconciling your grief

Click HERE to view full article.
January Inspirations
Journaling for Comfort, Clarity, and Healing
with Dr. Sandi Howlett
What if you had a tool at your fingertips which could help you 1) relieve personal stress, 2) make sense of the insensible, 3) problem solve, 4) hold conversations on paper with people who are otherwise inaccessible to you, 5) breath and move easier as well as 5) celebrate the goodness in your life? 

Well, it is all as close as a blank book and a pen… Glenda Good Witch told Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “You had it all along!”  AND it can be very helpful to have a tour guide to help recognize these things.
Dr. Sandi Howlett
EricsHouse Board Member and Grief Specialist
Dr. Sandi Howlett is a life long journaler and bereavement specialist. She is also on the Advisory Board for Eric’s House. She has extensive experience with bereavement through her work as Bereavement Special with Hansen Mortuary for 14 years including facilitating grief support groups as well as 1:1 client support, 16 year affiliation with New Song Center as facilitator and as part of the training faculty as well as teaching for the American Hospice Foundation and a variety of hospices in Arizona. She has presented at national conferences for Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child, Parents of Murdered Children, MISS Foundation and is a lead facilitator for the Institute for Healing of Memories – North America.
Event Lineup

Our women's group meets every other Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Please click HERE to see more details.
Men's Grief Support Group starting January 9th 
Meets every other Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Please click HERE to view details.
Journaling for Comfort, Clarity, and Healing, January 18th
With Dr. Sandi Howlett. Will be held at our Phoenix Location in Paradise Valley. Please click HERE to see more details.
SOLD OUT - January 24th
Group Readings with Melinda Vail
Evidential Medium- Melinda Vail will provide insights to you from your loved ones! Register to receive our newsletters to learn about future events.
Retreat for Grieving Parents
If you are interested in a 3-day retreat in Phoenix Arizona for grieving parents, please contact Marianne at This retreat is based in Catholic tradition but is open to all denominations and belief structures. It is for all parents who have lost a child, by any cause, at any age, no matter how long ago. It is an amazingly healing and transformative experience. March 27 - March 29, 2020 . Costs include all meals and materials -- $135.00 Commuter, $225.00 Private Room w/ Bath, or $135.00 Shared Room w/ Bath.
In addition to providing companionship after a loss and holistic support as part of our Integrative Grief Care model, we offer a number of alternative therapies. We are excited to announce a new service being offered to EricsHouse clients.
Reiki with Messages
Beginning January 21, 2020 , Jean Nictakis is teaming up with Laurie Savoie to provide a new service, Reiki with Messages . On every Tuesday, you will be able to schedule an appointment through our website, with Jean and Laurie to provide traditional reiki healing for body relaxation, and healing combined with receiving messages from the other side. During the traditional 60-minute reiki session, Laurie and Jean will be open to receiving messages from loved ones, Spiritual Guides, Masters, and Angels. The messages will be reviewed at the end of the session and you will take the communication notes home with you. The cost for this service is $115.

About Laurie: Laurie Savoie, mother of three, was living a normal, happy life until her world changed on November 17, 2010, the day her 19 year old son, Garrett, chose to take his life. She turned her grief and sadness into a life changing passion to help others. Laurie has spent the last several years since Garrett's death spreading the message of Hope and Love in her book, The Ripple Effect, Invisible Impact of Suicide. This book has helped people who have been affected by suicide, reminding them that they are loved by many, and how amazing life is! For those who are dealing with sadness or a loss to suicide, you are not alone, and can survive this. Laurie is actively involved in the Helping Parents Heal group, HOPE ASAP, and is a frequent guest speaker in the Arizona Prison System.