Radio Guest This Week is Linda Ross Swanson

Linda Ross Swanson is a nationally certified thanatologist (death, dying and bereavement counselor and educator). 

During her interfaith studies she came across the ancient Jewish tradition of an ethical will which is a mitzvah, or commandment, in that religion. Formerly, endowed to one’s loved ones orally, an ethical will encapsulates one’s wisdom, life experience, worldview, blessings, values and beliefs. These days, ethical wills are written and distributed after death along with legal wills, but are also gifted at major turning points, i.e. birth of a child, graduation, bar or bat mitzvah, wedding and so forth.

Wanting to use her knowledge of legacy documents to give people on the street a voice and to instill compassion and understanding in the general public, Linda decided to write her book, Wisdom Under the Bridge; the Prophets from Skid Row, compiling Wisdom Wills from this population. She interviewed and helped 12 formerly homeless, addicted/alcholics who are now clean and sober, housed and giving back to society form their Wisdom Wills. Then, she turned to 6 area advocates for this struggling community recording their wisdom to round out the book. Linda’s spiritual journey and work in the field lace the stories together.

Her book has been reviewed on the PR News Channel, in the Midwest Book Review, ForeWord, the NW Examiner, StreetSpirit, and StreetRoots.

Linda consults one-on-one, and teaches workshops on writing Wisdom Wills. She also has an active grief counseling practice and offers in-service trainings on a variety of grief related topics. She can be reached via email at or 503.267.7550.
Her website is