Amy Munnell is my special guest today. I met Amy at Southeastern Writers Workshop around 1991. Lord, that almost 20 years ago. Amy wanted to share a special project with us and I couldn't say no to her.
Hey, Amy, good to see you here today. Your project sounds fascinating.
First, I’d like to thank Mary for offering me this chance to guest blog. It is very generous, especially since I am not a romance author.
Saying Goodbye to the people, places & things in our lives is the first of a series of anthologies from the publisher Dream of Things, aimed at bridging the gap between the style of today’s popular anthologies and the substance of the Best American Essays series. Over 200 authors from the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere submitted work for consideration. Each essay was selected to build an exploration of loss and grief from many different angles and in a variety of ways, including with humor.
I am one of those 31 international authors featured in Saying Goodbye. My essay, “A Tree of Life,” looks at my inner struggles with my sister’s death when she was 12. Only 18 months apart, we shared the same disability with Marcia paving the way for us with our parents, in school and in the community. I had it pretty easy living in her shadow. After she died, life pushed me out front and center and I was overwhelmed.
I began “Tree” as an exercise while in therapy 20 years later. In it, I share how discovering the busy daily life of a tree, planted with my sister’s ashes, helped to pull me out of the chaos of my depressed mind and still offers an escape when needed. Other essays in the book discuss losing a parent, the destruction of a childhood home (“Ghosthouse”), the death of a pet, and in the essay “Bridget,” author Stephen Parrish describes finding, then losing his imaginary friend.
The holiday season intensifies the feelings of isolation in someone who has lost a loved one. Saying Goodbye can offer a sense of community and comfort through the experiences of nearly three dozen authors who have shared that pain and understand. For more information and to read a sample chapter, visit the Saying Goodbye website: www.goodbyebook.com
Thank you again for this chance to discuss my book. May the holiday season be full of joy and wonder!