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Harold Ivan Smith

Harold Ivan Smith

In this episode, Harold shares a childhood experience that remains very present today, which perhaps led him into the bereavement care field and his writings. Harold speaks about his most recent book, Almost Everything Worth Knowing about Harry S Truman and the grief experienced in Truman’s life.

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Harold Ivan Smith is a thanatologist and independent scholar. For 18 years, he served on the teaching faculty of Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri. He also was a celebrant for Speaks Memorial Chapels, Independence, Missouri, and now for Forest Lawn Mortuary, Palm Springs, California. 

He has earned graduate degrees from Scarritt College (M.A.), Vanderbilt University (Ed.S.), and Asbury Theological Seminary (D.Min.). 

Among his writings are: On Grieving the Death of a Father; Grieving the Death of a Mother, Grieves Ask, When a Friend Dies (Augsburg Press); When You Don’t Know What to Say; When a Child You Know Is Grieving, When Your People Are Grieving: Leading in Times of Loss, and A Decembered Grief.

He has also published two academic books for clinicians: Friendgrief: An Absence Called Presence (Baywood) and Borrowed Narratives: Using Historical and Biographical Narratives with the Bereaving (Rutledge).
His most recent book (2020) is Almost Everything Worth Knowing about Harry S Truman.

Known for his storytelling, he lives year-round in Palm Springs, California.

Writings by Harold Ivan Smith

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