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From the collection of Valerie's Favorites:

Tear Soup

Story by: Pat Schweibert & Chuck DeKlyen

Some cooking requires that you measure ingredients exactly. But making soup is different. Soup making is an art, and you are the artist. Improvising as you go, your only goal is that the blended creation will both satisfy your hunger and soothe what hurts you.

"What's true about soup making is also true about grieving.

In this richly illustrated new book, Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life, and so she is cooking up her own unique batch of "tear soup". Tear Soup gives you a glimpse into Grandy's life as she blends different ingredients into her own grief process. Her tear soup will help to bring her comfort and ultimately help to fill the void in her life that was created by her loss. Following Grandy's story you will find cooking tips to use on dealing with grief:

*If you are the cook   

*If your friend is the cook

*Soup making and time

*If a child is the cook

*If you are a male chef

*If there are two of you cooking

Tear Soup....

*Affirms the bereaved

*Educates the unbereaved

*Is a building block for children




 The table is round to symbolize unity.

Men, women, young and old experience grief.

We come together for a mutual purpose, we are united for a common goal.

Unity provides strength.


The tablecloth reminds us that something special is happening.

Guests are expected.

We are encouraged to reach out to one another.

Reaching out to others is a key way to lessen loneliness.

Hospitality enables us to surround ourselves

with comforting and supportive people.

The guidance of caring people can sustain us and promote recovery.


Candles are lit, to remind us that God is the light in our lives.

Recovery from a loved one’s death, requires more than time.

We need a place to gather so that we can be nurtured by one another.

Acceptance marks a major step toward recovery.

Now we are able to be the light to others.


Flowers on a table serve to remind us of the beauty of

God’s creation all around us.

Life is worth living because we have been given two of the greatest gifts….

we can love and be loved in return.

We have the seeds to grow, to heal and to live with hope.


Place settings of plates, knives, forks and spoons represent

the diversity of our gathering.

We come in all shapes, sizes and experiences.

Grief is universal, grievers are unique.

Recognition of this uniqueness, enables us to help ourselves.


Bread is served as we are waiting for the main meal to arrive….

It sparks our anticipation and whets our appetites for us to discover

new things about ourselves.

We can build on strengths developed through adversity.

Survivors reaffirm themselves and choose life.


Water is the source of life.

Without it all creation will wither and die.

The water at the table reminds us of the need to be cleansed and refreshed.

Eventually, those who grieve recognize and embrace a healing truth…

Grief has changed me but it has not destroyed me.”


Often there are upsets in our lives, things get spilled and tears are shed.

Therefore, we have napkins to clean up the spills and wipe the tears away.

We have all made mistakes and sincere regret is the best response to them.

Forgiving is not forgetting it is remembering and letting go.

We have now started to move beyond anger and toward hope.


Salt and pepper are often overlooked, but they provide

much needed flavor and zest.

If we can accept the lack of answers to “Why me?”

we might begin to ask, instead,

what can we do now to grow through what has happened.

We learn to have the courage to say, with conviction,

I am no longer my “old self”, but I am still me.

I now face the future with confidence.


There are chairs around the table.

We come to the table to be comforted

from our emotional upheaval and exhaustion.

A loved one’s death disrupts our emotional balance.

The variety and intensity of feelings seem overwhelming.

As we sit together and comfort one another,

we come to understand that what we experience in grief is normal.

We are reminded that in sharing with others our

Joys are multiplied and our sorrows divided."


We have been setting this table of faith, hope and love

since the beginning of time.

Dying is as much a part of life, as is being born.

The circle of life continues.

Healing brings us hope. It takes time and effort.

We learn to express emotions openly and honestly.

We cherish memories, bittersweet though they are.

We realize we are not alone….

We count our blessings, not our troubles.

We count our nights by stars not shadows.

We foster gratitude for our past,

and begin to assess our own potential for the future.

Finally, instead of going through life as if nothing is a miracle,

we live our lives knowing that life itself is the miracle.


May you always set your table with

Hope, Gratitude and Life....

Happy Thanksgiving...Always with love,

Valerie Panciera Rieth 

Buscaglia, Ph.d., Leo. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. Charles B. Slack, Inc.,

Thorfare, NJ, 1982.

A story of life for all ages


Winston, Lolly.  Good Grief.  Warner Book, New York, 2004.

 Deep, dark and beautiful… a touching portrayal of a young widow’s struggle to

 heal.  Written with tender wit and deep insight… love and grief are inseparable

 in life.  Good Grief touches the human spirit.


Shriver, Maria.  What’s Heaven, St.Martin’s Press, New York, 1999.

After her great-grandmother’s death, a young girl learns about heaven by

asking her mother all kinds of questions.  What’s Heaven is a tender, thoughtful

treatment, for people of all faiths, of a very emotional and difficult subject.


Smedes, Lewis B.  The Art of ForgivingMoorings  A Division of the Ballantine

Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., New York, 1996.

When you need to forgive and don’t know how.


Lundin, Ph.D., Stephen C., Harry Paul & John Christensen. Fish!  Hyperion,

New York, 2000.

Catch the Energy & Release the Potential

A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results



























































































































Valerie Panciera-Rieth Bereavement Services, LLC

Support Groups*Celebration of Life Services*Grief Counseling*Motivational  Speaking

4197 South Circle Drive, Hollywood, FL 33021

954-989-7439 Office 954-614-7718 Cell


Valerie's office is located on the S.W. corner of Presidential Circle

Valerie Panciera-Rieth Bereavement Services is not affiliated with Boyd-Panciera.