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"Your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened." ~ Wayne Muller

How I Wrote my Way Through the Grief of Loss

By Simon PAPE - Unsplash.jpg

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”  ― Anne Frank

I have always enjoyed writing – college term papers and professional technical papers that described specific goals and outcomes – hand-written letters to my family or my sweetheart during long deployments at sea.

Writing was functional; merely a useful tool of communication. As an analyst by vocation and personality, I never gave much thought to creative, effusive writing. However, I never experienced the therapeutic healing that writing brings until the forty-ninth year of my life.

The traumatic event that defined that year sent me reeling. I suffered a great and shocking loss. One snowy winter’s morning, my wife of over twenty-five years left. Deep emotions and grief hit me as never before. Something I held dearly was torn from me with sudden force and shoddy explanations.

It was awful. It was a year that I would like to forget.« Continue »

10 Ways to Ease Depression With Only Your Pen

hand in jail

If you’ve been with me on this journey for a while you’ll know that one of my lifetime struggles has been with depression.

It took a long time for me to identify with that part of my story, and then again, to admit it out loud. In fact, as I write this, I’m cringing a little.

I’d rather tell you I have it all figured out. How depression is behind me and I have all the answers sitting snugly in my back pocket. But that’s not how it goes with this ugly illness. It finds you in the cracks where you try to seek joy. And sometimes, you wonder if you’ll ever out-run it.

Depression is the secret that pervades many households—the one most hide away from in shame. I keep writing about it because as I learn how to catch up with, and hopefully outrun, this thing, I want to bring many others with me on the journey. And the fact that so many people do hide away makes me all the more determined to bring this thing into the light.« Continue »

The Mama Notebook: Gluing My Children Together Again


I’d never fully understood the term “coming unglued” until I became the mother of toddlers. I saw it happen to both of my daughters in turn, how exhaustion could creep up when no one was looking and pull them apart at the seams. They would fall into wailing heaps of little girl limbs with more [...]


The Power to Write New Stories


When the security guard stopped me on my way out of the grocery store, I knew he wasn’t chasing after me because I forgot something at the register or dropped my keys from my purse. No. He was stopping me to check my bags. This is a common occurrence in my brown skin. Once every [...]


When We Fear Our Own Light


This post is one from the archives, originally published in March of this year. I wanted to share it with you again because it represents the heart of The Gift of Writing. I’m also on a mini-break from writing right now as I soak up some rays in Europe. I hope you’re having a great [...]


I Am An Unfinished Woman


I am unfinished. Understanding this at its core continues to come in waves for me. It’s an awareness I now carry with me every day of my life. I am a work in progress. There are many layers to who I am and I will never be complete. Feeling an unexplainable void in my early [...]