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Read My Book: Lorri Neilsen Glenn on Threading Light: Explorations of Loss and Poetry

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Filed under: Read My Book

When I was a young university student in Saskatoon in the 1960's, my fiancé shot himself. His unexpected suicide haunted me for decades. His death would be the first in a long series of losses that prompted me to put pen to paper.

Now, years later, I have learned that writing, like grieving, is a process that brings us from darkness to light. We all experience grief and loss, sometimes daily. I wrote this book as a way to understand my own losses and why they compel me to write.

In Threading Light, I tell small and large stories of loss in the everyday, stories we all share. I work through the lessons of those losses, and I describe the roles that friendship, writing, and community play in our willingness to face difficult times. We don't talk enough about death and grief – I hope this book, in some small way, opens that conversation. The stories, anecdotes, and poems in this book speak to my life in Saskatchewan and the Maritimes, my travels to other continents, and my travels inward to the heart of grief.

As I wrote, I began to understand that living a wide-awake life, "licking honey from the razor's edge," is one of the many gifts our losses give us. We weave dark and light in our lives every day. Facing loss and mortality is not a dreary prospect, but a cause for renewed joy.

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