Brenda Lee Sieglitz is an award-winning author and educator whose expertise is in travel, grief, and nature. Widowed in 2008 at 24 years of age, Brenda became an advocate for sarcoma cancer, the grief community, and conservation through her volunteerism with the National Park Service, Lancaster County Conservancy, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Hospice & Community Care, Soaring Spirits International, Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, and Angiosarcoma Awareness.
Brenda won the 2009 (former) Associated Content “Content of the Year” award for her editorial titled ‘A Widow’s View on the U.S. Healthcare Debate’, and in 2011 was named one of Wyndham (Hotel) Worldwide’s “Women on their Way” Local Nation travel writers. Her love and loss memoir, Ebb from the Shoreline, won 1st Place Editor’s Choice in Nonfiction at the 2014 North American Book Awards.
Sieglitz launched a public speaking tour after her book was published and speaks to groups about her experiences as a young widow traveling on her own, rediscovering her love of nature, and how these things helped her through her grief journey. She is a subject matter expert on solo travel, and nature and travel, having taught at Camp Widow, Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Institute, the NJ Tourism Industry Association, Millersville University Institute of Lifelong Learning, Hospice & Community Care, Highmark Caring Place, Lancaster County Parks, Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, Willow Valley Communities, Masonic Village Elizabethtown, Chester County Library, and Traditions of America – Lititz. Through these speaking engagements Sieglitz encountered many solo travelers and formed a company called “Widow Voyages” which she ran from 2016-2018.
Sieglitz holds a degree in business and is continuing her studies at Western Carolina University in the Business Administration and Business Law Program. She became a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist in 2015. She works full time for a regional environmental non profit managing a large scale reforestation program and serves on several environmental committees.
In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family including her two nieces and one nephew, going on camping adventures and creating music with her husband, hanging out with her stepdaughter and son-in-law, hiking, and reading.
Sieglitz has been married to her best friend Dave since 2013 and continues to reside in Lancaster County, PA with their two rescue dogs Fina and Fern.
“I think you do a terrific job of inspiring young newly bereaved folks to realize there is life that continues. That there are others like themselves, they are not alone and you are there for them. And of course when you get the opportunity, please explain the wide variety of ways we can support anyone grieving ANY type of death in the commmunity, they just have to call us at 717-391-24123” – Patti Anewalt – Director – Pathways Center for Grief & Loss-Hospice & Community Care
“Brenda has shared her journey as a widow — a very misunderstood, feared role for most of us — with courage and and a dedication to change our world for the better. Through her blog and other writing, she’s shown that she can be compassionate, persuasive, and intelligent on even a complex issue like U.S. health reform. Grief and loss, as well as the young adult experience fighting cancer, are emerging areas and Brenda is right on the ball with a fresh, relevant point of view and her own unique voice. Her love for her late husband, Kevin, is palpable, as is the strength and joy she brings to finding a new life.” – Robin Moore, FreshWidow
“With Brenda , what you see is what you get. Brenda is one of those rare individuals who can wear her heart on her sleeve, show compassion, make you laugh, and make you cry…all at the same time. As Brenda shares her story of grief at a young age, you’ll get a dose of reality, not shrouded in platitudes, drama, or psychobabble. Brenda is real, and her story is real – just what others dealing with grief need to hear.” – Ken Mueller Inkling Media
“Brenda’s sincerity and authenticity effectively peel back the layers of topics rarely spoken about: grief and death. Her youth is the unique angle, and she offers such a fresh perspective that you’ll have trouble not being changed by her story.” – Shawn Smucker ShawnSmucker.com
- Lancaster County Magazine: New Adventures
- Associated Press: Young Widows Seek Ways to Manage Grief, Find Support
- Mount Joy Woman Starts Group Tour Company for Widows and Widowers
- Author’s Memoir Receives First Place
- Susquehanna Style Beach Reads: Ebb from the Shoreline
- Where and When: Happy 100th National Parks
- Where and When: The Alleghenies…Naturally
- Central Penn Business Journal: Writing Books Helps Central PA Businesspeople Share their Messages
- Young Widows Speak Out About Managing Grief, Seeking Support
- GoodReads.com – Author Brenda Lee Sieglitz
- Good Day PA: Author Spotlight – Ebb from the Shoreline – Finding Cancer and Courage
- Kickstarter Book Project: Ebb from the Shoreline
- Lancasteronline.com: Widow will sign memoir in Lititz
- Town Lively: Sieglitz will release book
- York Daily Record Book Buzz: Lancaster widow Brenda Lee Sieglitz launches Kickstarter to self-publish memoir
- National Parks Traveler: Off-Beat and Unexpected – Assateague Island National Seashore
- National Parks Traveler: Exploring the Parks: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
- 2009 Content of the Year Award: A Widow’s View on the U.S. Healthcare Debate
- Social media, a place to share life events, becomes a place to grieve as well by Leigh Zaleski – York Daily Record
- Tellus 360: Great Hikes in Lancaster
- Savvy Auntie: From Widow to Auntie
- Johns Hopkins Cancer Matters Blog: Remembering Kevin Boitson
- Susan Pogorzelski: Friendly Faces
- Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative: A Tribute to Kevin Edward Boitson
- Identity E-Magazine: How Writing Healed Me
- Fresh Widow: My Response to The Today Show: Part 1: The Baggage of Surviving a Happy Marriage
- The Lancast Podcast: Sarcoma Cancer Through the Eyes of a Young Widow
- The Lancast Podcast: Brenda Boitson, a Widow Two Years LaterLancaster County Bible Church – Saturate Guest Blog: Seriously, Who Talks About Death – Part 1
- Lancaster County Bible Church – Saturate Guest Blog: Seriously, Who Talks About Death – Part 2
- Interview: “You Have the Power to Lead” by Jasmine Green, Connections Magazine for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- The Caregiver Space: He Asked me to Believe in a Miracle
- Widowsphere Guest Blog
- Inkling Media Guest Blog: Social Media as Therapy
- Inkling Media Guest Blog: Who Are You and What’s Your Online Persona?
- Inkling Media: Love, Loss and Hope: A Story of Online Community
- Shawnsmucker.com Guest Blog: The Self Proclaimed Crazy Widow
- Shawnsmucker.com Guest Blog: When Your Dream Emerges From a Nightmare
- Shawnsmucker.com Guest Blog: On Writing & Reconnecting
- Shawnsmucker.com Book of the Week: Ebb from the Shoreline
- Gray Hair & Acne Guest Blog: The Case Against Couldn’t
- Andilit Guest Blog: I Was Doing It!: The Life of a Freelancer
- Andilit Guest Blog: Priority Management
- Andilit-A Writer’s Write Interview: Too Much of a Plan Will Hold You Back
- Baron Insurance Group Guest Blog: Is it Ever Too Soon to Get Life Insurance? Facing the Realities of Life
- Confessions of a Funeral Director: When You Feel Guilty for Having a Good Day
- Xpressive Handz Guest Blog: Unexpected
- Wyndham Women on their Way Local Nation Travel Blogger
- With Swallow’s Wings Guest Post: Ebb from the Shoreline’s Brenda Sieglitz
- CBF Names Brenda Sieglitz to Manage the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership
- In the Spotlight: Brenda Lee Sieglitz on planting trees and the healing power of nature
- The Agroforestry Buffers Frontier: Planting “extreme” agroforestry buffers to improve water quality and farmers’ bottom lines
- Professional diversity is key to conservation success
- Meet The Keystone Ten Million Trees Partnership
- Science is Better Together: The Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership
- Drop by Drop, Tree by Tree
- Young widows speak out about managing grief, seeking support