Belated Happy 2020 everyone!
Its been way too long since I've posted! The end of last year was pretty tough, with the devastating bushfires that have ravaged Australia, as well as the death of a dear family friend to mention but one of a series of life difficulties that took whatever wind I had left in my sails at the end of the decade.
I'm super excited to be posting again and looking forward to sharing with you some field notes from this Adventure of Life as it unfolds this year, including some updates about my forthcoming book.
And what a great way to formally kick off 2020 than share with you a guest blog post I recently did with the wonderful Charlene Walters. It's not everyday that you cross paths with really special people that you feel blessed to have 'met'. Charlene is one of those people! Her life story is an inspiration, having been to hell and survived to live to tell the tale and inspire others to live their best lives. Out of her experiences of tragedy, loss and recovery, has emerged her forthcoming book entitled Own Your Other which captures her extraordinary journey from hell to resilience. I'll be interviewing Charlene later in the year about her book and her experience so keep an eye out for that.
In the meantime, the following is an excerpt from my guest blog. I have included a link to the full blog post below. To learn more about Charlene, her book and her work, click on the links on her blog post.
Q: You do so much to help others going through grief and loss. Tell me a bit about the subjects you write about and your background?
A: Writing came to me by accident. I have always been a mad keen journaler and had dabbled a bit with occasional writing submissions for different projects, but when the losses began I found I needed to “write my pain.” Writing my pain was (and is) about giving creative expression to whatever is tormenting my soul. At some point I realised I needed to write what I needed to read because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in other peoples’ work. It became a conversation of sorts, with myself, my readers, and the people who so graciously shared their experience with me.
Another driver for the books has been the stigma and silence around certain life experiences that people generally prefer not to talk about – death, cancer, babyloss, to name a few. The taboo around difficult subject matter has the effect of amplifying the alienation and suffering of the person who is grieving or dealing with loss and heartache. Even now I am very aware that some content I create has a polarising effect on people. Some people are uncomfortable around another’s anguish. Which is completely understandable. Empathy is not always easy, and sometimes we lack the capacity to better deal with one another’s difficulties.
I certainly feel that part of my motivation in writing my books is a symbolic reaching out to others who may be experiencing grief and loss, to know that although their journey is unique, that they are not necessarily alone; that our shared experience of grief is in fact a silent, sacred bond that unites us, just beneath the surface of perceived ‘difference.’ My first book, After Life After You, is still on the resource list at the Australian Grief and Bereavement Centre which is immensely humbling. If it can bring comfort to even one person struggling with their anguish, then I have done my job in providing a metaphoric connection and shoulder to lean on within the grief community.
In terms of background, it has been fairly eclectic and to a large extent influenced by the Road of Trails. I really do believe that our struggles inform and shape who we are as people. I would not be the same person had I not experienced the death of Stu, or had cancer come in-between me and my opportunity to be a mother. These are the sliding doors of destiny, the forks in the road that force us into unchartered territory. Experiences like these invite contemplation and deep soul searching.
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