Connecting people and improving medicine—one story at a time.

News of a terminal diagnosis changes life in an instant, yet few of us know how to cope with such an event. Neurosurgeon Joseph Stern, MD’s landmark book, Grief Connects Us, shows us how to navigate personal loss in a new way, allowing us to both improve our healthcare experience and connect more deeply with others.

“Too often we think we must walk that path of grief alone, unwilling or unable to adequately share the depths of our loss…he gently holds the hand of the suffering, listens intently, and then weaves the voices of patients and doctors alike into a bold narrative of empathy, compassion, and connection.”

—Sanjay Gupta, MD
Dr. Stern shares four take-home messages from Grief Connects Us.

Resources & Community

For patients and families

Many people feel after receiving a terminal diagnosis that they are on a set path with few choices, lost in a complex medical system that doesn’t offer needed emotional support. It doesn’t have to be so: together we can chart a new path and have more positive end-of-life experiences.

For medical professionals

Dr. Stern offers a unique method for both supporting your own mental health while caring for patients facing significant loss or death. Learning “emotional agility” can help you perform in a medical capacity while also offering the connection patients need and crave.

Joseph D. Stern, MD

Dr. Joseph “Jody” Stern is a neurosurgeon specializing in complex spine and brain surgery. He has been in practice for over 25 years and is a partner in the largest neurosurgical group practice in the country, Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates. The deaths of his sister and brother-in-law—and the experience of working with their healthcare teams—brought a new perspective to his work with patients, inspiring him to write Grief Connects Us.

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