Smile on a stick a poem

Tools for finding hope along the journey: Smile on a stick

Dr Darcie Sims often talks about wearing a "smile on a stick". She pulls one out of her pocket and explains how we can hide behind it. People see our smile and think we are fine. Sometimes we need that smile on a stick but when others see past it...that is a true gift.

Artwork by Tanya Lord
About the Artist

Tanya Lord was a special education teacher when Noah died. After his death she read The Institute of Medicine’s report To Err Is Human and realized that the errors responsible for her son’s death were not unique. This created a desire and determination to better understand and work towards improving health care. Currently she has completed a master’s degree in public health and a PhD in clinical and population health research and is completing a post-doctoral fellowship. Lord shares her personal and professional experiences in presentations and workshops for medical staff and students focusing on the importance of effective communication with patients before and after an error. She also is a co-founder of The Grief Toolbox (, which offers tools to help those along the grief journey. Lord may be contacted at [email protected]