In 2005, I had a baby. The usual spit-up, disjointed sleep, and 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, saviour, and jailbreak.
In 2008, feeling terribly isolated in grief—like Medusa, I always said—I founded Glow in the Woods, the world's first bereavement community for parents. For six years running I was the keynote speaker for the 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 creativity and grief. When we lose someone we love, we've got to re-learn how to love, communicate, and abide with them, with the mysteriously vanished. There's beauty and companionship in that learning.
My latest book—Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief—is out now with Shambhala Publications. It's the latest in a career of adventure novels and picture books for kids, all infused with Nova Scotian salt and mischief, woodstoves and rum-running. It all lines up. Hooliganism and friendship, exquisite beauty, explosive mess. Losses and gains. I'm glad you're here.