Marlis Beier started her professional career in Obstetrics and Gynecology and practiced for seventeen years. She found gratification in both the clinical challenges and accompanying those facing life transitions around sexuality, motherhood, loss and medical crisis. During that time, her desire to prevent unwanted teen pregnancy led to presentations, making an educational video and teaching in schools as well as founding a mentoring teen theater group.
Life and identity shifted when exacerbation of multiple sclerosis ended her private practice. Finding meaning in her own losses and change stimulated learning storytelling, spiritual work, dream tending and writing. An ordained Maggid (Jewish storytelling and teacher), she speaks at faith communities as well as to secular groups. Her focus changed from accompanying those giving birth to those facing the end of life. Her volunteer work includes hospice, interfaith networking and Volunteers in Medicine (caring for indigent patients). Seminars at the Sacred Art of Living Center motivated her to begin teaching dream tending, facilitating end of life review (a personal Vidui) and acting as a spiritual director. Facilitating material and ritual at the Sacred Art of Living and Dying programs comes naturally from her practicing personal, family and community ritual in Judaism, fitting in with her love of stories.
Her greatest love is her family, including husband Dean Sharpe, M.D., two daughters, Marissa and Anneliese, and grandsons Thielsen and Sawyer. The saga of Anneliese’s health challenges since age one inspired her to become a better doctor, mother and companion to any one facing illness or challenge.