Writing your grief
Presenters: Emma Grey & Megan Daley
Join authors and widows Emma Grey and Megan Daley for a practical session on writing and grief. Emma and Megan will share how writing about their personal journeys as young widows helped them understand and express their grief, connect with other widows and move forward into their Plan B lives.
You will leave this session with practical strategies on how to get started with writing, prompts to guide you through the process and tips to overcome common mindset obstacles when faced with a blank page.
Emma Grey is the author of five books, including ‘The Last Love Note’ – a romantic comedy about a midlife widow processing her loss while finding love (and life) again. She wrote the novel in the wake of her husband’s death, as a fictional tribute to their love, an attempt to articulate the magnitude of her loss and a life-affirming commitment to hope.
Jeff died from a heart attack at home in 2016. Widowed at 42 with three children, Emma fought her way through the shock and darkness guided by advice from her friend, Rebecca Sparrow, to allow the loss to turn the light up in life, not down.
From re-purposing the funeral flowers into fresh bouquets for the hospital through to co-writing a glittering musical, taking up photography and capturing the Aurora Australis, Emma has ‘chased the light’ on her own for seven years. She became a spokesperson for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, flew to New York to speak at an international conference in Jeff’s honour, downsized into a home she and her best friend designed (complete with symbolic white picket fence) and lobbied politicians to ease the heartache of death administration.
Seven years into being widowed, there are times when the searing loss still brings Emma to her knees. But it’s writing, photography, music and the love of friends and family that pulls her forward into a fulfilling Plan B future that sparkles in a different way.
Megan Daley is passionate about children’s literature and using story to help young people understand their own lives and the lives of other. She is the author of the bestselling book ‘Raising Readers’ (UQP, 2019), a multiple award-winning Teacher Librarian in Brisbane, a regular literary judge, creator of the popular website Children’s Books Daily and co-host of the ‘Your Kid’s Next Read’ podcast.
The death of her brother, aunt and husband in a short space of time saw Megan’s writing and educational focus take a detour and she now describes her website, podcast and teaching as ‘books with a side serve of grief’. Megan writes regularly for grief-based organisations, as well as on her own website about her lived experience of grief and how books can provide the words when we have none.
Her latest podcast on books and grief can be listened to here.
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