I recently had an essay, Grieving My First Husband's Death & My Second Husband's Deployment, published in Insider Parenting. This was a hard one. I wrote the first draft of the essay in December 2020, not long after my husband deployed, and then I couldn't touch it for many, many months. I wrestled with edits here and there, and then cut it down to half its original length for Insider. The past couple years have been so difficult for many people, but I think enormously so for parents, especially those of young children. I was dealing with a lot of stress when I wrote the essay, but honestly, it's nothing compared to what I have experienced recently, nearly a year into solo parenting three children through a pandemic. Though the essay, which explores how my grief (and parenting experience) around my first husband's death mirrored so closely that of my second husband's deployment, was challenging to write, I'm grateful to have it out in the world.
My September/October 2021 newsletter can be found here. My dear friend Amy Jirsa is the featured writer, and there are publication updates, reading recommendations, a Maine Coon cat fact from Zoe, and more goodies to be found.
I'm delighted to have a new essay in Taproot's Issue 47::SUSTAIN. This essay explores some of the ways I have dealt with my grief over the years, especially regarding the things that I always find myself turning to for comfort and sustenance during difficult times: knitting, baking, gardening, and, of course, writing. Taproot is a lovely ad-free and Maine-based publication full of beautiful words, stunning art, recipes, projects, and more, and I'm always honored to have my work included in their pages. If you haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend picking up an issue or, if you are local to Maine, stopping by their Portland storefront.
I'm delighted to have a new poem published in the latest issue of Farmer-ish, a newer but very cool Maine-based publication that focuses on farmers, farming, and the creative life. Crystal Sands, co-founder of Farmer-ish, says "I live in a world where farming and the arts go hand in hand. I wanted to share this world with others." You can check out the entire Fall Equinox issue (theme: Folklore) here, and you can read my poem, "Family Recipes," here.
Photo credit: Catalin Dragu, Unsplash
My July/August newsletter can be found here. It includes some updates, a blue whale knitting pattern AND a fact about humpback whales, and the featured artist is an old friend, B.J. Hollars, and his new book, "Go West, Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America on the Oregon Trail."
In July I was notified that I received an Individual Project Grant for Artists from the Maine Arts Commission. The grant funding will help enable me to work on my memoir over the coming year, and I'm so grateful for the support!
My May/June 2021 newsletter is here (it's still June, just barely). This issue features writer Abby Maslin, a delicious cake recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction (my go-to for birthday cake recipes), a fact about gold from Zoe, and some writing updates. Enjoy! You can read the May/June 2021 newsletter here.
I recently had an essay published by Motherwell Magazine about grief, love, and dreaming about what it would look like if my two husbands (and ultimately my two families) could meet. My first husband has been dead for many years, so it's an impossible but sweet reverie. You can read the essay on Motherwell here.
My March/April Newsletter recently out, and you can find it here. It has some publication updates, reading recommendations, grief writing workshop news, and Robin Clifford Wood and her new book, The Field House: A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine, are featured. Zoe's science/nature fact is about baby pandas as well!
I really enjoy volunteering with the Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area, so I'm partnering with them to offer another virtual workshop on writing through grief. The workshop is free, designed to be really low key, no writing experience at all is necessary, and, because it's virtual, folks don't have to be in the Waterville area (or even in Maine) to participate. The information covered in the workshop is helpful for any stage of grief, too, whether it's anticipatory grief, a recent loss, or helping to process grief a long time after a loved one has died.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives and writes on a little piece of land in Maine.