Just a thought... Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory. [Gustave Flaubert]
It's here. Book Release Day.
It's like a due date we thought would never arrive, but for which there have been Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks now - especially when I was hearing via social media that the books have been in stores like Costco (!) and Chapters Indigo for days now. A big, HUGE and sincere thank you to the independent book sellers who have supported this endeavour, especially Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge and A Different Drummer Books in Burlington. Every single person who has had faith in me - in us - and this book is to be thanked. Again and again.
You've heard me express gratitude to so many people, but really it's you: every single person who wrote, who didn't write but read, who tweeted, instagrammed and posted on Facebook. Your messages of support, both in the early days of our losing Lauren, and in the ensuing 45 months, have buoyed us up, brightened the darkness of our weeks and years and reminded us that love never dies.
That message - and you - are the reason that we wrote this book. I say "we" because Rob and I collaborated in terms of remembering and discussing, as Bob Seger wrote, "...what to leave in; what to leave out...." Dina Pugliese on BT yesterday said she needed more pictures (so she went to Google). I understand that. But we took direction from many people and cues from Phil about privacy and we included what we thought was right.
Rob was invited to join us on the couch for the last few moments, which was so nice. Dear Dina teared up - she's such a beautifully sensitive and empathic soul - and we had a few laughs, too. I promise that the book is much the same.
Over the last few days, the incredible strength and vulnerability, the tears and pain of the loss parents, and those who've suffered bereavement in their own lives have been overwhelming. It's only made clearer to me that writing this was the right thing to do: grief is so universal and yet so unique. No one has the timeline or the guideline by which to do it "properly"; there are no rules. There is only what is right for you. You'll read much more in the book about what we've learned through our own journey but, more than that, through the stories of others.
There is always, always hope. I say that because I mean it. "Joy" may be something that seems so completely out of reach and possibility, but we're here to tell you - to show you - that it can be yours. There can be laughter. There can be life. It is, as the author Anne Lamott put it so beautifully, possible to "dance again - but with a limp."
I'll try to share some stories and a few pictures of gifts we've been so lovingly given over the past few days. If I try to include them all, I'll miss some, I know. But the greatest gift has been your openness and compassion. That's something we've learned about grief: it blows open your heart to the experiences of others and teaches you that, as Amanda Marshall wrote: "Everybody's got a story that'll break your heart."
Hearts mend. They do.
If you're near a TV this morning, I'll be visiting with Ben Mulroney on CTV Your Morning between 7:30 and 8:00 and Global Morning at around 9:20. I'll be taping E Talk as well and visiting the ladies of The Social LIVE at 1:00. Hope to see you then!
Rob and I are so looking forward to an evening at Rogers with an Up Close & Personal event hosted by my friend Maureen Holloway. It'll be a wonderful chance to catch up with Ian, Gord and more of the co-workers I miss so much at CHFI. How lucky I am to be able to have kept in touch with them - and with you - over these past two years. Thank you for making Toronto feel like home once again.
(@erindavis on Twitter)