Woman of Strength?

I heard back from the New York Times, and they turned down my essay about that relationship of mine a few years back. Hiho. Can’t say I’m surprised. Now the question is, do I rewrite or submit somewhere else? I really am not very good at this part. I have no idea where to try and resubmit it. Its almost more time consuming trying to find places to submit your writing than it is doing the actual writing itself.

Went to Vashon on Thursday with a friend Derek Johnson who did some photographs of the place on Vashon. They turned out great and now I can post the house onto vacation rental sites. Its gonna be a lot of work, so we’ll see how the summer goes.

My book seems to be very well positioned in Australia. I am getting lots of emails from people who have read it. I was particularly moved by one that I got from a young woman who had read the book. She and her sister were orphaned by the bush fires. I have been so startled by some of what she has had to endure and the similarities to what I went through. The DNA testing, the not knowing when to have the funeral for her parents, the publicity. I can’t tell you what it feels like to now be in a position to help someone else through something like that. I do still struggle with the identity piece, being the big expert on grief. I keep wondering if its holding me back in some way from moving on, whatever that means. Perhaps in helping someone else, I am moving on. I don’t know. I just know that it is what I need to do. I hope even through cyberspace I can help a woman through the sudden loss of both her parents.

I am headed to New York next week to receive a “Woman of Strength” award from Tuesday’s Children, the 9/11 charity that I write about in the book. They helped me so much, and now to be honored, wow.

At the end of April, I am headed to Waterloo, Ontario to be the keynote speaker (me! a keynote speaker! do miracles never cease?) for a bereavement conference. Crazy. I see that through all of this it is becoming more and more important to distill my message, in order to be really helpful. Something I didn’t imagine would be so hard. Grief is so darned big!

I hope I have the strength.

7 Comments

  1. anniegirl1138 March 28, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Congrats on your award and the keynote thing.

    I wonder about the “expert” thing where grief is concerned. People tend to look to me as some sort of fountain of wisdom at times when really, I don’t have anything other than cliches to toss them. It does help to help others. Yeah, it pulls us back but being able to go back and yet reclaim the space where we are and keep going is a sure sign of “growth”, imo.

    Don’t know what to say about the reject. Was it the relationship piece you blogged about? Hot topic now is how relationship are being effected by the economy – I am hearing anyway. Perhaps it’s just the wrong moment?

  2. Abigail March 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Anniegirl. Astute as always. Yea, I’m going with a sign of growth, but I think its a delicate balance, keeping neutral enough not to be emotionally dragged through the mud with each new aid scenario.

    And yes, it was the article I blogged about that got rejected. I wasn’t expecting much, but it would be fun to see it published somewhere. It may not be worthy yet though.

  3. Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Abgail,
    It’s Marny – the one who is bringing you to Waterloo!

    Grief is crazy! Isn’t it amazing to think of how much our life has changed since the death of our husbands? The things we are accomplishing now that we never would have thought possible just a few short years ago – you writing a book, winning awards for your work and yes, even being our Keynote speaker!

    Your book is such an inspiration to others who have lost their spouse. To read about someone else “surviving” such an enormous loss and finding the strength to rebuild and recreate their life gives your readers the courage and hope to continue in their grief journey.

    You are a Woman of Strength and deserve to be recognized as such – even if it is just in your eyes.

    I can’t wait to meet you and sit down and have a great talk. Good luck this week.

  4. Split-Second Single Father March 31, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Congratulations on the keynote address. I am new to your blog, but wanted to let you know I have added you to my blogroll of young widow/ers. Apologies for the form letter that follows: (and good luck at the conference!)

    I am working on a comprehensive listing of widow/er blogs and have just added yours to the list. Please feel free to e-mail me if you know of other blogs that should be listed, or if you do not wish to be listed, at splitsecondsinglefather@yahoo.com. It is so hard to find these blogs through regular web searches, and I would like to help change that. At least for now, there will be a growing, categorized list in at least one place. Thanks for helping others who are on a similar journey.

    Best regards, 3SF

  5. Abigail April 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks Marny for your comment. I am looking forward to meeting you too! And to Split-Second Single Father, thank you for your comment and your add, and welcome to my blog. I look forward to perusing yours. I thinks its a great idea creating a widow “portal” of blogs.

  6. Betty and Boo's Mommy April 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Congratulations on the award, Abigail and on the keynote speakership (hmmm, I guess “speakership” isn’t a word, is it?)

    I just finished your book this afternoon and posted about it on my blog. I’ll be buying a copy for my mother soon.

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