Journey: When a Child
This journal is an amazing concept brought to life by Katie Hodge Dean. And I don't mean that as a pun! Though this journal is about life after the death of a child, it is most definitely about the ins and outs of how bereaved parents live on after their child is physically gone. It does not deny grief. It does not deny the hard days. It does not put a timeline on grief. It allows the reader/writer to interact and live a life while at the same time acknowledging grief.
This stance seems revelatory to me because most cultural attitudes today say we need "get over our grief" or need to "accept our grief and move on" or some other euphemism for everyone around a bereaved parent to say, "Okay, enough, stop grieving now." But Grief's Journey allows for the reader/writer to life a full life AND feel grief -- on the day of the death, a year later, 20 years later.
Hodge Dean accomplishes this by simply having a blank line at the top of each right facing page that says, "Today's Date" rather than a calendar date. She immediately brings you to the present moment. Now. Today. What is happening on your Journey now, this asks. And the writing prompt in these pages is timeless, too. This is an open-ended invitation to write whatever you need to write, say whatever you need to say, whenever you need to say it. Simply says, "Tell me what you feel...I am listening..."
On the left face pages, there is a plethora of amazing photographic images taken by Hodge Dean and her partner. And then there are excerpts of writing that overlay each image. These serve again as open-ended thought provokers. Hodge Dean offers quotes and excerpts from her own writings, from Joanne Cacciatore's book Dear Cheyenne, and even a few excerpts from writing published here at KotaPress. Let me just say we are honored to be included in such a wonderful work as this.
The images run the gamut from macro floral shots to clouds, from architecture to landscape, from sanctuary to cemetery. And the quotes cover a myriad of topics such as:
"I am invited to a baby shower...I don't want to go...I want to be that naive again..."
"I have no idea who I am anymore...I was a parent..."
"If I knew the reason why this happened, would it make a difference?"
"So many regrets, so many questions..."
"I see wonderful places I never got to show you..."
"I miss you, my beautiful child..."
And as if this all weren't enough to make for an amazing resource while on Grief's Journey, Hodge Dean also includes a resource section at the back of the book listing all kinds of online and in-person resources for bereaved parents to access. I cannot say enough about what an amazing resource this Journal is going to be -- for BOTH the short and long term of Grief's Journey.
copies available for $15 at: