JOAN S. GREY 1957-2022

Joan Smith Grey, 1957-2022

It is still hard to believe we lost Joan Grey.  She was the driving force behind™.

But I won’t just post a eulogy, I will continue to celebrate her.

I met Joan during our freshman year at AHA– the Academy of the Holy Angels (affectionately dubbed Ah Ha! by Eileen Boron Haley.)

The smile that lit up Joan’s whole face and her infectious laugh perfectly balanced her studious, serious nature.

I immediately felt welcomed by her and her family.

A smart, free-thinking girl, Joan played by the rules just enough at Holy Angels to be covered with accolades and awards. In fact, at our graduation, Joan clomped across the stage 3 separate times –in the Dr. Scholl’s sandals we were forbidden to wear —to receive special recognitions of her many accomplishments.

Over the years Joan and I remained friends as we progressed from students to professionals, girl friends to wives to mothers to grandmothers. Somehow we grew together, retaining our bond. We went from roommates on the sophomore class trip to Rome to dragging our families to meet, once a year, in assorted different countries.

We still talk about the year the Grey family came from Germany and my family traveled from The Netherlands to meet at the WWI cemetery in Verdun, France.  We found out the hard way it was no place for a picnic lunch.

At one point both Joan’s husband and mine separately asked, “Can’t we ever JUST meet in New Jersey?”

We never did.

But we did meet at her son’s Track Meet at my daughter’s university in Connecticut.

Close enough!


In 2014, Joan decided we should collaborate more purposefully and we arranged a weekly video call. We co-hosted the now infamous (!) IndexCardCure™ blog. After a few years we began writing books reflecting our separate interests. We have met via video chat or in person almost every week since.          

I am blessed, for Joan has been an integral part of my life for over 50 years.

As with most people she befriended , Joan has been not only a friend to me, but a mentor, a spiritual guide and a taskmaster. Recently we planned to go to an event and, knowing my propensity to be late, Joan told me, “It starts promptly at 11. If you can’t get there on time, don’t bother coming.”

Joan spent her life gathering sisters. She made deep meaningful connections everywhere she went. She empowered us to create visions for ourselves to help us be our best selves. Meeting some of the many smart, successful women who read this blog, I can confirm: Joan’s friend ‘thread count’ is high. She touched lives and changed them for the better.

Even after Joan got her dire diagnosis, she made every minute of her time count. She lived the example she outlined in her book Good Goodbyes: A Mortal’s Guide to Living. She wrote, “…Everyone tells you what to expect when you are expecting. No one outlines how to prepare yourself and your loved ones for dying.”

Ironically, after the diagnosis, with Dan’s loving support, Joan lived her book for 9 months.

Since Joan’s chemo treatments seemed to only make the tumor mad…And bigger…. She acknowledged the treatment’s futility long before another, not so well prepared, would have seen the cards on the table.

She never gave up hope, or positive thinking. But never-the-less, the miraculous remission we all prayed for didn’t happen for Joan.

Joan and I enjoyed playing with Doreen Virtue’s Healing with The Angels CARDS for inspiration and guidance messages.

But neither of us ever drew the Miracle card.  “Where are the miracles?” I wondered.

Joan replied, “I’ve been given miracles. I have been given time to finish my book and establish my legacy. Dan and I went to Colorado with the kids and grandkids, when it didn’t look like I would ever travel again. Then we went to Florida, the army/navy game, the Women’s Conference at West Point and finally, one more trip to Florida.”

I will miss Joan helping me spot miracles.

BY THE WAY, That last trip to Florida would never have been possible without the tactical and logistical genius of the love of Joan’s life, Dan Grey. True to his character, Dan was at Joan’s side, shouldering this burden and sustaining her wishes throughout her whole cancer ordeal.

Joan accomplished more in her lifetime than most people accomplish in twice as much time.

Joan achieved many goals in life through pure willpower alone. She was told she would never walk again after her parachute accident in Germany. Joan not only walked – she ‘power walked’ and biked with purpose. She was told she could not have children. Yet she popped up at my law firm in Manhattan, expecting Steven. I walked into my office after a meeting and there she was, sitting at my desk!

A proud mother, Joan also relished her role of Grandma Grey, ‘GG’ to her three wonderful grandchildren.

We who love Joan, all gathered and mourned her passing. But Joan wants us to celebrate.

She is telling us death is a natural and inevitable part of life. Do not to cry 
because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

Joan, once again I celebrate you.  I toast all your accomplishments, difficult to do full just to and enumerate well in a quick blurb.

But most importantly, I celebrate and cherish the spirit, the commitment, the loyalty and the love you have shared with me all these years.

We all shall stumble on without you, but in your honor. 

Joan, I hope the answer to all of our prayers is: the best is yet to come for you. I pray. I hope.

I believe.     © Jane F. Collen August 22, 2022


Collen, Jane F.

Jane and I met freshman year at the Academy of the Holy Angels. For four years, we sat together at lunch, participated in modern dance club, went on ski outings, and even shared adventures on the Latin trip to Italy.  Through the years, we’ve stayed in contact. When my husband and I served military assignments in Germany, we had memorable rendezvous with Jane and her family in Verdun, France and Salzburg, Austria.

Jane’s many talents include philanthropist and intellectual property attorney in a firm she and her husband founded. But writing has been one of Jane’s central passions. The roots of our values can be found in our past. If I dig through old letters, I will find poems that Jane wrote, in her signature green ink.

Jane caught the reading bug as a child and claims to have read all of the young adult books in her hometown library. As a mother, she ensured that her four children were immersed in the world of books, recognizing that reading is a crucial skill for learning.

The older we get, the more we ponder the legacy we will leave. Hopefully, we grow more aligned with our core values; our essence. As a lover of writing and books, Jane would like to teach the world to read. Her goal is to ignite the passion of reading, particularly in children. Reading provides retreat and resolution—a sanctuary from difficulties that arise and a sense of hope as characters encounter and solve problems. Perhaps we should think of our lives as expressions of spirit. Jane gives voice to her life and passions through the Enjella Adventure Series. Check it out:

Copans, Maryse G. 

I am hungry for life and all its offerings: books, movies, spiritual quests, family, love, even cold French fries as long as they’re lightly salted; then I get full and need some alone time to digest it all and prepare for my next feast.

I am organized when I plan my perfect day with writing time, phone calls, appointments, errands and all. Then I’m distracted by the first Tweet I receive; it invariably means that the next hour will be spent in front of the computer and that I will have to rip my list to shreds.

I’m cautious when I talk to my friends about my quest for meaning. I’m bold too. I want to taste the sweet nectar of creativity. I want a different kind of life to swell inside me. I want to bring it into the world and watch it grow with pride and tenderness.

I’m a Brussels sprout who was raised speaking French and fell in love with English at the tender age of 13; I’m an American growing strong roots in the fertile land of the free.

I’m on a healing journey from anxiety and a head injury and exploring the many paths to joy and fulfillment. I’m discovering life’s countless blessings I’m and patiently growing into my true nature. (see “TBI Tale” for details. If you need support or have questions about the recovery process, please let me know)

My name is Maryse G. Copans, translator by trade and life lover at heart. I live in the New York metro area with my husband and two children. I can be reached via e-mail: – on Twitter: @wifsie (where I’ve created the word game @loqwacious) and on FaceBook.

Grey, Joan S. co-founder of IndexCardCure™  
I have always been awed by Joan!  Even in high school Joan stood out to me as an amazing person.  Now her resume proves what I always thought!

Veteran, military spouse, and Coast Guard mom. She graduated from West Point in the first class with women and was commissioned in the Army. She served in the US and Germany until being injured in a parachute accident. Her husband continued in the military, so frequent moves resulted in an eclectic career path with employment as hospital chaplain, environmental educator, fund raiser, social media coordinator, facilitator and numerous volunteer positions. In addition to the degree from West Point, she has an MBA, has completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education and a certificate program as a spiritual director. Pro bono work includes West Point Women Outreach Coordinator for metro DC, co-chair of the West Point Women’s Summit, Army Arlington Lady at Arlington Cemetery, coordinator of a virtual accountability circle and facilitator of a spirituality group. Passions include her granddaughters, spirituality, and ecology.

Luongo, Gerardine

Gerardine Luongo writes about nonprofits and charitable giving. She is a 30 year veteran of the nonprofit community where she has worked at all organizational levels including executive leadership, program management and evaluation, and senior development positions. For the past ten years, Ms. Luongo has worked with several international aid organizations promoting health and educational programs throughout the developing world. Her work has brought her to countries across Africa, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Afghanistan.

She has published work in professional journals and on the blog sites of magazines dedicated to social justice.

Ms. Luongo is married to Don Ranft, an engineer and patent attorney, and is the step-mother of three adult children who are all successful in their chosen fields.

Check out her posts:

Choosing a Charity

CHOOSING A CHARITY PART 2: Programmatic Success

RAZ, Anat – licensed acupuncturist

Anat Raz graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan in 1997, where she received her Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine. She is a New York State Licensed acupuncturist and Board Certified Diplomate in acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

From 2002 to 2005 Ms. Raz has been a faculty member at the Mercy College Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine program. She served as a clinic supervisor in the acupuncture clinic at Sound Shore Hospital.

Prior to receiving her Master’s degree she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College. Ms. Raz has been a student and a practitioner of Oriental Medicine for the past 20 years. For many years prior to practicing acupuncture, she was a licensed massage therapist, and certified in acupressure and reflexology. She has experienced the strength & healing of this medicine both as a patient and as a practitioner. She is excited to be part of a health care system where the patient is an active participant in their healing process.

check out her website:

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