Gayle Heiss speaks as "a wounded healer." Since 1984, she has lived with Sjogren's Syndrome, a chronic systemic illness. For eleven years, she has facilitated weekly support groups for people living with illness and for their families and other loved ones. As a hospice volunteer and companion to people with AIDS, she has confronted the process of dying. She has also witnessed remarkable recoveries. In all these experiences, Heiss has found that every person in the circle of relationship is both the agent and the recipient of healing.
Ms. Heiss is also the author of Living Well with Chronic Illness, a booklet now in its fifth printing. She is also a co-founder of The Common Thread, a hospice newsletter that helps make illness, grief, and death more approachable.
The humility gained from living with her own illness, and the mutuality of healing she has shared with so many others, give Gayle Heiss a broad perspective. The stories she has gathered here contribute to the collective human experience. Her ability to weave them together is a hallmark of both her work and her writing.