Ingalls Hospice Memorial Service to Feature Acclaimed Author, Speaker And Grief Expert


(April, 2014)

Acclaimed life coach, motivational speaker and author Tom Zuba will offer a new perspective on grieving at the Ingalls Hospice Semi-annual Memorial Service Saturday, May 17.

Rockford-based Zuba became an unwilling expert on grief after suffering several devastating losses within his own young family beginning in 1990. That’s when he lost his 18-month-old daughter Erin to a sudden illness.

Tragically, his 43-year-old wife died equally as suddenly on New Year’s Day 1999 from a rare blood disorder. His 13-year-old son Rory died from brain cancer in 2005.

Zuba says he and his remaining son Sean explore life one day at a time.

“After my daughter Erin died I was broken, shattered, lost, confused, angry, shaken, sad and many, many other things for many, many years,” he explains. “My foundation was destroyed. I had no way of knowing if there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It took me a long, long time to discover that yes, indeed, there was a light.”

As devastating as Zuba’s wife’s death was, he said he knew he would survive because he had two young sons depending on him. Six years later, after his son died, Zuba questioned whether survival was even something he wanted to do.

“But in time, I realized that not only was there light at the end of the tunnel, but this time the tunnel was lit,” he adds. “This time I was able to observe my journey...not simply feel victim to it…I learned so much. I realized that I could consciously participate in my own transformation.”

At the May 17 Ingalls Hospice event, Zuba will share important tools and knowledge about living with loss, as well as wisdom and knowledge he has gained over the years to create a full, joy-filled life.

“It’s not about denying the dark,” Zuba said. “It’s about making space for the light, alongside the dark.”

The Memorial Service will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Marie Irwin Community Center, 8120 Highland Road in Homewood. The event will also feature a ceremony of remembrance and a celebration of loved ones who have passed, including a symbolic release of doves.

For more information or to register, call Ingalls Bereavement Services at 708.331.1360.