The Beautiful thing about Conversations with Kelly is you're in
a room where you feel familiarity and that many people understand.
It really doesn't matter what you are there struggling with you feel supported. It's like coming to a lovely home. Welcome home.
A pleasure to hear you speak. Poignant and heartfelt.
Such painful emotions and such tender responses.
–MARK SBOROV, M.D.
MEDICAL DIRECTOR, MINNESOTA ONCOLOGY
When is the next CWK? I hope there are more!
–PATIENT OF KELLY
You gave each question the appropriate time
and kept the conversation fluid. Everyone in attendance
has a different life story and I believe that everyone could still
find benefit in the way you answered each question.
Kelly, the night was truly special! I knew you
were good and patients rave about you but to see you in action
was really special. Your talk helped me sort out how I was
going to approach supporting my friend. Thank you.
–PATIENT OF KELLY'S
Thank you, Kelly for last night.
Your talk was very healing and comforting. You are a gift.
Please join us for an another inspirational evening of healing and hope as we learn from Kelly the cycle of grief and how we eventually come to a place we can appreciate the process as it is a bond to what or who we have lost. We will all grieve in this life and if we belong to a community, our grief is shared. See you on the 29th!
Read this new article about Conversations with Kelly in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Since its debut in June 2015, each CWK event has given participants hope and healing. Topics include:
• Transforming Fear Amid the Journey Through Grief
• Losing, Rediscovering and Holding Hope
• Making Every Day Count
• Finding Inner Courage: Living with a Life-changing Illness
Wherever you are on your healing journey, CWK events provide a unique opportunity where you can learn and grow through the experience and wisdom of Kelly and other participants. Hear stories as you make discoveries and insights that can help you create positive personal change.
Each CWK event explores a healing topic, such as:
• How can I maintain hope in a time of loss?
• How can I transform my fear?
• How can I make every moment count?
• How can I live with a life-changing illness?
• How do we live until we die?
• Despite this illness, how can I live with courage?
• What do people want at the end of their lives?
• What does it mean to be cured…and how is that different
than being healed?
Kelly believes hope can always be found. Even when people are faced with the words “nothing more can be done” – there actually is.
Walking the sacred walk with people experiencing deep human loss, Kelly Grosklags created Conversations with Kelly (CWK) for a powerful purpose: to alleviate suffering.
CWK was born out of Kelly’s childhood encounter with grief, coupled with a life-long passion for building communities of healing. Kelly’s 20+ years as a clinical practitioner has expanded to teaching, writing and now engaging with live audiences through storytelling, dialogue and music.
Today Kelly’s message of hope and healing celebrates the power of coming together, where patients, survivors, friends, family, providers and caregivers unite in an intimate forum dedicated to creating positive change.
CWK gives each participant a comforting opportunity to share and discover ideas and insights about the range of human emotion. Join Kelly for the next Conversation as you invite healing to happen.
Meet the Volunteers
Photos by George Byron Griffiths
I have learned how to live through my many years of
working with people who are dying. The dying teach us how to live.
Olivia is a student at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management where she is studying Marketing, International Business and Spanish. Olivia is focused on building CWK’s public image through social media and strategic promotion of Kelly’s public speaking events.
In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. –Nikos Kazantzakis
The live events of Conversations with Kelly would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. Nancy, Connie, Bob and Jenny are a team of skilled healers who help create the healing space for each talk. Kelly is so grateful for the support of this talented team.
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. –Edith Wharton
Barbara, an award-winning credentialed and certified nurse, considers her many years in hospice as the pinnacle of her fulfilling career. Working with Kelly in hospice care, Barbara witnessed the fine honing of Kelly's skills and reputation as a tireless and principled patient ﾠadvocate, and par excellent in working with the dying.
Barbara has been an inspirational driving force in advancing Kelly’s message of love and healing, and has selflessly devoted herself to helping Kelly reach a greater audience through CWK.
Barbara serves on the CWK creative team, sharing her content development and organizational skills to enrich each CWK event. She is an active Reiki level 2 practitioner, a trainer, and founding member of Soulweaver’s Retreats. In addition, Barbara is an avid scuba diver and world traveler.
Treasure what you have. –Barbara Fleetham
Jeffrey leads creative production for Kelly’s appearances in venues across the nation. A writer and performer, Jeffrey develops content for CWK events and publications. He shares his passion for connecting audiences with what matters most in his role as moderator and host of live events. He appears regularly with Minneapolis comedy troupe, The Recovery Party, and is an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. Jeffrey is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned degrees in Communications and Music.
If necessity is the mother of invention,
Then what I must now invent is a means
To live by certain trusted ends:
To be authentic.
To be safe.
To be faith-filled and faithful.
To be honest.
To be positive and bright.
Margie leads all administrative functions and logistics for CWK events and bookings. For more than 25 years Margie has dedicated herself to emergency medicine and physician recruitment in the Twin Cities medical community. She continues her work today and especially enjoys helping patients who are seeking consultation from advanced practice providers.
A friend of Kelly’s for many years, Margie has been witness to the healing counsel Kelly provides patients and families facing end-of-life decisions. Today, Margie is proud to be a vital part of the CWK healing team.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough. –Melody Beattie
Kelly Grosklags, LICSW, BCD, Fellow, American Academy of Grief Counseling
For nearly 25 years Kelly has dedicated her practice to minimizing suffering through her work in oncology, palliative care and hospice. An experienced therapist and gifted speaker, Kelly created Conversations with Kelly as a public healing forum to broaden her reach as a psychotherapist, social worker and healer for patients and families.
Kelly frequently speaks about end-of-life care, and grief and loss issues at hospitals, clinical conferences, churches, funeral homes and schools. Her passionate and supportive demeanor helps patients, caregivers and health professionals connect with the wisdom of dying a good death, making life more meaningful, coping with depression and anxiety, transforming fear into hope and healing versus curing.
Kelly is a Board Certified Diplomat in clinical social work and earned a fellowship in grief counseling from the American Academy of Health Care Professionals. She earned a Master’s Degree in clinical social work from the University of St. Thomas/University of St. Catherine and currently sits on the board of directors for Angel Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports families living with cancer.
Kelly is currently writing a book of stories from cancer survivors and their caregivers. Her private psychotherapy practice is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. –Pema Chodran
When confronted with serious illness like cancer, everything changes. In this beautiful coffee table book, Kelly and Barbara will couple their wisdom of clinical and life experience with stories from patients and caregivers who have transformed fear into hope. Featuring clinical expertise, anecdotes, poetry and artwork, this book will be a resource for patients and providers —offering solace to anyone living with or caring for someone with cancer.
Sign up for publication updates and to join the CWK mailing list.
Surrender isn't giving up, rather surrender is being,
trusting and releasing. Surrender is essential to healing.
Have a question for Kelly and the healing team? A story to share? Maybe a suggestion for an upcoming CWK event?
Share your ideas here and sign up to join our our healing community. You’ll receive periodic updates from CWK (don’t worry, we won’t flood your inbox).
We read every message that comes in, and although we cannot answer each submission individually, we are grateful for your feedback.
Please note any response from CWK is not a substitute for professional medical and/or psychological advice from a licensed provider.
If you would like Kelly to share her inspiring words at your next event, use the form on the right to get the conversation started.
Please send us an email or contact Jeffrey Cloninger at 612.466.0240.