About Us


Claire Willis

Claire B. Willis

I am a clinical social worker and have practiced in the fields of oncology and bereavement for more than two decades.

I have worked in hospice care for many years, both as a volunteer and a social worker. As a lay Buddhist chaplain ordained by Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, I have focused on contemplative practices for end-of-life care. For the past five years, I have been a student of Koshin Paley Ellison, a founding teacher at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care.

I am the author of Lasting Words: A Guide to Finding Meaning Toward the Close of Life (Green Writers Press, Brattleboro, Vermont, 2014).

I lead bereavement, end-of-life, support, and therapeutic writing groups and maintain a private practice at my home in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Photo by Marnie Crawford Samuelson


Marnie Crawford Samuelson

Marnie Crawford Samuelson

I am a documentary photographer, filmmaker, and multi-media producer. I am the principal photographer of two books—The Wild Braid, a collaboration with poet laureate Stanley Kunitz and poet Genine Lentine, published by W.W. Norton, and Lasting Words with Claire. My photos have appeared in national and international magazines including Newsweek, People, U.S. News & World Report, and Smithsonian.

I have shot and co-directed several short documentary films, including Fire Station 88.1, Keeper (First Runner-Up Audience Award nonfiction short, and included in Best of the Festival shorts, Woods Hole Film Festival), Inside Motherwell’s Dumpster, Selina Trieff Will Not Stop (Audience Award nonfiction short, Provincetown International Film Festival), and By the Waters.

I have a BA from Stanford University and an MSc from The Sloan School at M.I.T.

I maintain a daily mindfulness and meditation practice and divide my time between Wellfleet and Jamaica Plain, MA, and Berkeley, CA.

Photo by Rowena Otremba