Two years ago this September, Zoe and I attended Camp Ray of Hope for the first time. CROH is a camping weekend for grieving families and individuals. It's a safe and wonderful place to talk about your grief openly with others, and it made a huge impact on Zoe and I. Here's a little essay about our experience, published today in the Bangor Daily News.
My family was exceedingly lucky when innumerable friends, family members, and community organizations came to our aid during some of our most difficult days while Steve was dying. This essay, up today at the Bangor Daily News, explores the support we received and how I am trying to raise Zoe to understand the importance of giving back.
When Steve and I were newlyweds and in our early twenties, we made the somewhat unwise decision to adopt a boisterous and socially inept pupster named Gabbie. Fast forward almost nine years and we all lived through so much together as a family and Gabbie was by my side while Steve was dying. Now, quite uncannily, Gabbie is dying from a spinal tumor. My latest essay, When Cancer Comes for Those You Love, is up on The Establishment today, and explores this complicated experience.
Very pleased to have another essay published with Brain, Child: Alive and Breathing and Happy explores the challenges of embodying what doesn't meet the eye and rolling with the actions and words of others when you fall outside the "normal," nuclear family.
Happy to have a poem, Home, up on Literary Mama today. It's about the different ways we see the world and the experience of my daughter helping me scatter my husband's ashes on White Head Island in the Bay of Fundy two summers ago.
My prose poem, "Snow," is the first installment of Entropy's "On Weather" series, and is up today. I wrote this poem over the course of two winters, when Steve's death was looming but not yet certain, and things were challenging but not yet nearing the end. Meditations on the natural world (and even just my own backyard) frequently show up in my journals and writing and are a source of exploration for me.
I'm excited to have an experimental flash nonfiction piece, "A Brief Family History," up at Hobart today. I love writing essays, and it's what I do most frequently, but playing with form and breaking the mold is also something I very much enjoy. When I write, the subject, words, characters, etc, often determine the form: poem, essay, or experimental nonfiction in my case.
Thanks for reading.
Nearly 12 years ago, I joined a backcountry trail crew for the summer. It changed the entire trajectory of my life.
This is the story of that summer, up on the Bangor Daily News today.
Thank you for reading.
My latest essay is up on RoleReboot today, about one of my greatest fears in raising my daughter. You can read the essay here.
I still don't understand how we can be so cruel to each other sometimes; I like to think that as we get older and wiser we participate less in the destruction and hurt of our fellow human beings (and all beings, for that matter), but it's not always the case and there is so much out of our hands. This essay looks at youth and hurt, love and forgiveness, and how it all informs the way we live our lives. Be kind. Be True. Be love.
My latest essay, Life in Reverse, was published on the Washington Post's On Parenting site this morning. With each essay I publish, someone (and sometimes multiple someones) always reaches out to say thank you, to acknowledge that they are not alone, or, like today, to ask questions and ask me to tell them the truth as they look down the same dark tunnel of a spouse's terminal brain tumor diagnosis. I am so grateful to offer my support, my experience, and my knowledge - I know so very deeply some of what they are facing, and it is the least I can do.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives and writes on a little piece of land in Maine.