Nan Zastrow

“Honoring the past and rebuilding the future.” This statement defines Nan’s philosophy for healing grief. She explores her deepest thoughts and feelings about life and death in published articles and books. Many of her chronicles of grief draw on her own life touched by personal grief or the grief of others she has shared. These events and moments become resources for deep self-reflection and produce vivid analogies that help explain the transitions many of us discover as we journey through grief.

On April 16, 1993, Chad Zastrow, the son of Nan and Gary died as the result of suicide. Ten weeks later Chad’s fiancée took her life. This double tragedy inspired the Zastrows to form a non-profit organization called ©Roots and Wings, commonly known by its trademark of Wings™. From 1993 through 2003, they published a magazine for the bereaved that was mailed nation-wide. In July 2003, Nan discontinued the Wings magazine and became a regular columnist for Grief Digest magazine.

Today, Wings is recognized by their new name of Wings — a Grief Education Ministry. To demonstrate their commitment to grief education and their ministry, Nan and Gary are actively involved in facilitating grief support groups; offering workshops and seminars; and giving public presentations. They are also hospice volunteers. Nan and Gary are certified grief educators through the Center for Loss and Life Transition and founder, Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt. They continue their personal grief training on a regular basis and add balance to their lives with full-time careers, aside from grief. To learn more about them and their organization, you may visit them on Facebook or at their website.

To Have or to Hold—Letting Go of Rummage and Grief No Comments

It’s rummage sale time of the year again in our township. This is more than just a weekend de-cluttering project…it’s an EVENT! Big time! Our entire township hosts the event every year at the same time and it’s become notorious for bargains, socializing, and clutter control. Hundreds and hundreds of people swarm the streets for 2-3 days and bargain for every imaginable item. It’s about repurposing someone’s obsolete items into something perfectly useful for another period of time in someone else’s home…

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A Different Kind of Grief No Comments

This summer, I wrote on my Facebook page, “What once was a lush yard with wooded trees and green lawn, now was a pile of wood chips and dust.” These were words that described a different kind of grief. My husband and I decided we needed to cut down 1-2 trees that died and could cause potential damage to our roof. But, when we called the Tree Surgeon, we didn’t realize we were in for a much bigger surprise. Our expert analyzed all the trees and determined that many of the root systems were tied together. We could cut down those that needed it right now…

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