Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist



public grief

Friend Grief in the Workplace

Friend Grief in the Workplace
Jun 09, 2015 by Victoria Noe
If it seems to you like my next book – Friend Grief in the Workplace: More Than an Empty Cubicle - has been in the works forever, well, it feels that way to me, too. I can’t remember when my original publication date was, other than it was 2014. But it’s finally happening, and I’m ready to share some specifics.

The one thing I knew when I started researching and interviewing was that I would use a very broad definition of “workplace”. The majority of people you will meet in my book don't work in an office, much less a cubicle: A Trappist monk and the nun who lived down a winding Kentucky road, united by their vision of a better world. The...

How Celebrities Grieve Their Friends

Aug 26, 2014 by Victoria Noe
Yes, I know I wasn't going to write about celebrities. But doesn’t it seem like a lot of them have died in the past month or so? James Garner, Sir Richard Attenborough, Lauren Bacall, Robin Williams, Elaine Stritch: all left grieving families and friends, just like non-celebrities – with one glaring difference.Celebrities leave friends behind who are anonymous and others who are also celebrities. And while those live their lives in the glare of the media, that doesn’t mean that they’re capable of grieving gracefully in public. You may be surprised or even critical of them.Remember Paul McCartney? He was roundly criticized for his “It’s a drag” comment the day after John Lennon was murdered.People who hadn’t worked with Robin Williams...

Friend Grief in Public

Friend Grief in Public
Jul 20, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Today’s headlines are a little close to home for me. My cousin is the city manager of Aurora, Colorado, where (at this writing) twelve people were murdered and dozens wounded in a shooting spree at the midnight showing of the new Batman movie. I haven’t heard from him yet, but I’m sure he’s up to his ears. A lifetime of experience can’t begin to prepare you for something this horrific.The way the media covers tragedies like this one can be debated for eternity. Often in crisis, news organizations shine. But too often, as hours turn into days, they give in to what they defend as ‘the public’s need to know’.Honestly, all the public needs to know are the facts, especially...

Friend Grief and "The Concert for George"

Dec 23, 2011 by Victoria Noe
This post originally appeared in February, but I’m quite partial to the documentary of this concert. At first I was drawn to it because I’m a huge fan of George Harrison. But as I watched the special on PBS, I became more and more entranced by the commentary from Eric Clapton and others. You’ll see why:“All I wanted to do was really share our love for George and his music with the people.  I need to do this for him, but it’s for me most of all – I need to be able to express my grief in this sort of way.” – Eric ClaptonHow do we memorialize our friends?  How do we show the world how much that person...

When Your Friend is Trashed in the Press

When Your Friend is Trashed in the Press
Dec 12, 2011 by Victoria Noe
The combination of anger and grief stirred up a lot of interest here recently. It comes up occasionally in my book. Honestly, it could probably be a book all on its own. You’re expected to be sad when a friend dies. But angry, too?You’re grieving…maybe feeling guilty…and now you realize that the world has a completely distorted view of your friend.Mike Pfeifer and Cliff Kearney were held at gunpoint by three masked men who broke into their home. While Kearney was beaten, one of the robbers fired his sawed-off shotgun to intimidate Pfeifer. When the weapon was pointed at Kearney, Pfeifer grabbed the barrel, and was shot multiple times. The burglars ran, but by the time paramedics arrived, it was...

Grieving Your Friend in Public

Oct 31, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Your friend died, and you’re grieving. For the most part, that grief is private. But imagine if everyone in town was talking about your friend. Imagine if every time you turned on the TV or radio, or logged onto your computer, someone was talking about your friend.Imagine, too, that upon hearing the news of your friend’s death, you are confronted with members of the media pushing microphones into your face, asking for a comment. How eloquent do you think you might be?In In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work, Anthony DeCurtis recounts an interview with Paul McCartney in 1987. They covered his years with the Beatles (it was the 20th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”)....

Naming Names: The 9/11 Memorial

Naming Names: The 9/11 Memorial
Jul 11, 2011 by Victoria Noe
 Northeast Corner of the South Pool I’m old enough to remember the very heated controversy over Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial design: the names of the dead etched in stark, black stone. How depressing! How disrespectful! Now, its “naming” focus is one that is copied the world over, including the new 9/11 Memorial, opening to the public on September 12. I visited “The Wall” in 1988. The Vietnam War shaped my youth, particularly high school and college. I stopped at the kiosk, got my paper and pencil, made a donation and set off to find the names of the two guys I’d grown up with. It had been 20 years since Ernie Sanazaro died, but it was still surprising to...

Back to Ground Zero

Mar 28, 2011 by Victoria Noe
I’ve been to Ground Zero three times.The first time was in 2005, a few weeks after my father died. I didn’t like being there, probably because I was already mourning more than I believed possible. We went down and looked through the chain-link fence. Banners listing the names of the victims covered large sections of the fence. When you looked down, you saw a massive hole in the ground, a few trucks and not much else. The enormity of it was so much more dramatic than seeing it on TV. My classmate’s name was right there, in alphabetical order. I felt like it was a pilgrimage, of sorts.I went back in October, 2009, when I first started on my book....