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Deborah Shouse

Writer, speaker, editor, laughter facilitator, mental health and dementia advocate

Deborah Shouse is the author of Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey; Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together; and the novel: An Old Woman Walks Into a Bar.


Her writing has appeared in many distinguished publications including The Kansas City Star, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Natural Awakenings, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, Woman’s Day, Spirituality & Health, The Chicago Tribune, and Unity Magazine.


She has been featured in many anthologies, including more than five-dozen Chicken Soup books.

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How does a mom cope with the unspeakable grief of her child’s death?


Deborah Shouse never thought she would have to answer that question.


In 2021, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. Her 47-year-old daughter, Hilee, was one of them. Letters from the Ungrateful Dead: A Grieving Mom’s Surprising Correspondence with her Deceased Adult Daughter is a vibrant post-death correspondence between a grieving mother and her dead daughter.


The letters cover grief, spirituality, drug addiction, mental health issues, and family dynamics. Despite the somber topic, the book is laced with humor.

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