Meet The Author and Free Resources

About the Author: Ellen Gerst

Born and raised in New York, Ellen grew up wanting her classmates to share in her joy of reading.

At a young age, she decided to train to become an English teacher and attempt to instill in her students a love for the written word.

Of course, master plans such as hers are oftentimes altered as life proceeds, and one calling lost is another found. Although she did receive a degree in English Secondary Education, she decided to use her teaching and writing skills in a less formal atmosphere than originally planned. However, Ellen remains a teacher in her every endeavor.

Quite a researcher and still a library lover, every time Ellen encountered questions or issues, she would head to the stacks. What she found was that she was able to digest enormous amounts of information and succinctly write a short essay on a topic and come to a well-thought out conclusion. She became the "go-to" person for her friends, for they all knew that she investigated all issues thoroughly before deciding on how to proceed.

When Ellen became suddenly single at the age of 39 due to the death of her late husband, this investigative trait and love of writing served her well. To move through her grief, she often jotted down her feelings. Additionally, having been married at the age of twenty, there were lots of things she had never done by herself about which she needed to learn. Thus, she began her exploration into the practical, spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of moving through widowhood in a graceful and successful manner. And she began to write about her findings in an effort to help herself figure out how to emerge from her bereavement. You could say that Ellen was a pioneer blogger on coping with grief!

After working on her grief for many years, which included training as a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and receiving her coaching certification, she decided it was time to start living again.

She started to date via the Internet. Having met her late husband when she was fifteen, dating was a unique and new experience for her. Surprisingly, what she found was that most everyone was in the same boat as she was; they didn't have a clue either! A good many were also doubly handicapped by not understanding what it took to forge a healthy and long-lasting relationship. So, of course, she felt obligated to write a "how-to" book: Surfing For Love in All The Right Ways. Matter of fact, she would give it to her prospective suitors as a a primer! Ellen did find her happy new beginning and remarried eight years after her loss.

In 2010, Ellen wrote Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story, which greatly expands on the information first presented in Surfing for Love. For men and women who have lost a partner through death, divorce or break-up, Love After Loss provides a framework for redesigning a future that can include a new love connection.

Ellen continues to write, focusing on events in her life that move her deeply and that inspire her to put words to her heartfelt emotions. She has written over thirty books, which all have as their foundation the relationships we each have with ourselves, others and the world.

Coaching and Consulting

Ellen Gerst coaches others on what she knows best, which is how to turn adversity around and use it as a launching pad for a passionate and successful life.

She is a Life Coach who specializes in the fields of grief and relationships/dating. As a coach, she meets you where you are today and together we construct an action plan with goals and a defined time line in which to complete the stated goals. As Brian Tracy stated, "Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor."

If you're feeling "stuck" and ready to make some changes in your life, a coaching relationship is one way to jump start the process with only one to three sessions. I approach each session with the intention to guide you to your own empowerment and leave you with more than when we started.

Free Resources


Jon Ellen on Pinterest for tips and thoughts about love; dating and relationships; coping with grief; and caregiving for aging parents.


Listen to an interview about "Love After Loss" on the Open To Hope radio station.


Read an interview about finding love after loss on Cathy Stucker's Selling Books website.


Read a collection of essays and excerpts of books on Ellen Gerst's page on Scribd. Articles can also be downloaded.


Read the interview transcript of Finding Renewal After Loss via the Pittsburgh Better Times.

Rave Reviews for Ellen's Books

Figuring Out Life and Death: Musings, Stories and Questions About Suicide

Kim says: I've never read a more concise and thought provoking book on life and death. It's very easy reading with very clear messages and tools to help survivors understand suicide. This book spoke to me and I highly recommend it.

Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Grief

Ellen Kamp of The W Connection says: It's easy to read a book that one can go back to over and over again for advice. I recommend this book for widows and non-widows who are looking for ways to get "unstuck."

If You Want To Be Terrific, You Need To Be Specific!

Volume I:  How To Heal Your Heart After a Relationship Has Ended

Janas Kukla says: I was looking for a self-help book on love and relationships after 50 and I found this book to be very helpful and enlightening. Good book for folks like me.

How To Mourn: Help for Those Who Grieve and the Ones Who Support Them

Surf City Gal says: Having survived a tragedy, I bought about every book on grief. This is one that I keep close and refer to frequently.

Marty Tousley says: Helping another in grief requires patience, perseverance, flexibility, optimism, understanding, warmth and compassion. If that seems too tall an order for those who don't know where to begin, this informative little book offers many wise and practical suggestions, not only on how best to support the mourner, but also on how to avoid those unintentional mistakes that can hurt. Included is information to help readers better understand the normal grief process, along with carefully considered ideas on how to encourage, support and inspire individual mourners as they move forward on their journeys. Very nicely done.

Suddenly Single

Catherine Tidd aka WidowChick says: Ellen Gerst has approached the problem of finding yourself "involuntarily single" in a practical and realistic way. She gives readers the tools to look at their new unexpected life and take manageable steps to help them not only succeed but thrive. 

The reader will start the book with a feeling of "What do I do now?" and end it saying, "I can do this!" 

Concise and to the point, with stories from her own life that make it incredibly readable, I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to move forward and is struggling to figure out how.

The Teenager Preganancy Prevention Guide

Tyne Traverson says:  Parents needing to talk to their teenage daughter about her relationships, sexuality, or pregnancy will find in this book a thorough review of key ideas and practical information. Deciding to read it with their daughter could start an ongoing conversation. 

Teenage girls will discover Ms.Gerst knows their world and that her wise, clear explanations minimize misunderstanding and encourage openness.

I liked her example of a typical day in the life of a parent. I found her adoption, contraception, and abortion information precise. 

Understanding Dementia and Caregiving for Your Aging Parents From A to Z

Beverly A. Sykes says: A great resource for those about to or already dealing with parents showing signs of dementia.

Judy Svendsen says: This is a book that caregivers, professional staff and paraprofessionals can read, enjoy and utilize. Broken down into easy and understandable terms.

Amanda M. Borer says: I highly recommend this book for anyone caring for a loved one with an Alzheimer's or Dementia diagnosis.  

Junebug says: This books was very helpful in helping me understand what is happening and how to respond to the changes my loved one is facing. It was short, succinct and to the point but also hit all of the relevant issues. I wanted to get information but did not want to read a 400 page book.

Virginia H. Williams says: I bought this book because my mom suffers from dementia. I am a nurse so it helps me and my sister who is her care taker. She said it has helped her so much. I would recommend it to everyone.