In 2005, I had a baby. The usual gong show—the spit-up, the disjointed sleep, the joy. In 2007, it was twins, born catastrophically three months too soon. One of them died. I started writing on a morphine drip and never stopped. Imagination became my altar, my saviour, my jailbreak. People followed along from all over the world.
In 2008, feeling terribly isolated in grief—like Medusa, I always said—I founded Glow in the Woods, a bereavement community with over five million readers within its first five years. It remains one of the world's warmest spaces for grieving parents. For six years I headlined the annual Walk to Remember in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada's largest memorial event for bereaved families. In 2012, I gave a TEDx talk called Parallelism, about the often solitary journeys of creative work and grief.
All this led to my latest book—Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief from Shambhala, for pre-sale now with a September 2018 release.
My context is shark runs and woodstoves, Blackbeard and rum-running. Good clean Nova Scotian salt. My first novel—written upon the return of rosy cheeks post-loss—was The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, a book January Magazine called ‘a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered.’ It was illustrated by the Governor General award-winning Sydney Smith, and was nominated for a Hackmatack Award and a Red Cedar Award. The sequel, Flight of the Griffons, is the world's first environmental pirate adventure for kids. My third book, illustrated by the brilliant Eric Orchard—If I Were A Zombie—is fun-loving monster poetry for 4-8 year olds. I'm also a photographer, and contributed to the internationally bestselling Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting from the Heart.
It all lines up. Hooliganism and friendship, exquisite beauty, explosive mess. Losses and gains. I'm glad you're here.