As a healer

“She is willing to take on tremendous risks and make a commitment to help a total stranger. She is very motivated and totally unselfish, always going above and beyond to help other women.” - Sandra

“You continue to set a bar in my heart higher as I am challenged to really take in and reflect on what you are offering. There’s a resonance that occurs.”  - Louise

As a teacher and speaker

“Great class, lots of tools!” - Cheryl

“Enjoyed the class!"

“Thank you for being authentic.”

“Thanks for a great class!”

“Class was the best! Thank you so much – got a lot out of it” - MH

“Thank you for teaching me so much.” - Gail

“Thank you for a great class.” - JS

“Thank you for your knowledge and inspiration.”

“Our OLLI class has been wonderful – keep up your good work.” - Kris & Jim

“This has been a wonderful experience for me.” - BK


I am so happy I signed up for the class. Your ability to weave your real-life experiences made it all the “more meaningful. Thank you for sharing.” - BK

"I took a chance on this workshop and it opened my eyes to see how fear has affected every important decision in my life." - TR

“Took your course at Hingham Library a few years ago. The course was and continues to be an immense help in the way I now live my life." - MH

“Thank you again for a great workshop.  It was so much more than I expected.  Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is clearly a spiritual practice.  I had not realized this.  I am digesting and integrating everything you taught us.” 


“Thank you again for speaking at our Cambridge Rotary luncheon.  I found your talk about "facing our fears and doing it anyway" a common obstruction that gripes most of us in our everyday lives, personally and professionally.  Your suggestions on how to confront and embrace it will have a positive impact in conquering it in order to move forward.  Thank you.”


“I don’t know if you realize how much your workshop changed me. I walked away a changed woman and I can’t wait to work with you more. Thank you deeply.”  GM

As an author

"Must read for any parent coping with their child's serious illness.  Provides critical insights for maintaining continued hope and resilience.  A true story about a remarkable woman.  I recommend it to all my patients struggling with chronic illness." - Susan Taterka, MSW, LICSW, ACSW


“A wonderful guide for one of the most difficult roads in life's journey. Shirley Riga's courage and openness in the face of these challenges is contagious, and her hard won advice will help other parents cope with similar difficulties. The emphasis on taking care of one's self in the midst of it all is a timeless and important lesson for all caregivers.” – Karen Osborn, author and parent of a chronically-ill child


“Living with an ill child is a huge burden, and often not adequately shared by partners, family or friends. This book covers it all with frank, powerful clarity. It is both an affirmation of life and a sobering discussion of the hurdles that chronic illness creates. I was deeply affected by this book, and you will be as well.” -- Richard J. Grand, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital

"The whole idea of chronic sorrow is something I never wanted to think about. But your book has made me think about it in ways that just won't let go." - anonymous


“This incredible journey, told from the heart, offers strength and comfort. Riga has taken her own great pain and transformed it into comfort for others. What a beautiful gift!” - Carol Luck, author of Heroines of the Kitchen Table: Stories of Survivors


“I just finished the book and I haven’t been able to stop crying. So many mixed emotions. I’m angry, sad, heartbroken and happy all at the same time. You’re the real fighter in this story.” - Anonymous parent

"An honest, practical and touching account of the author's journey of sorrow, panic, despair and love as she cares for her chronically ill daughter. Riga offers helpful suggestions to cope by dividing her short chapters into three sections: "When Things Are Out of Control," "What I Learned," and "How It Helps." It's easy to read and I couldn't put it down. I would pass it on to anyone living through such chronic sorrow." --. Debra Given

“Shirley, you are an incredibly strong woman, and it is so wonderful that you are able to share your story and to outline so many useful practices for staying sane in the face of constant emotional pain. What a gift!” – Rabbi Katy Z. Allen