There is something empowering about writing your memoir. Medical research has shown that telling the story of your life can have physical as well as psychological benefits. Your manuscript becomes a container for your grief, a place that holds the tender memories and the harsh realities of your journey through the most devastating of times. Remembering the good times, embracing the hard times, and comforting yourself with the memories become a meaningful journey of self-discovery and healing.
Marilee Zdenek is the author of seven books, including BETWEEN FIRES, a memoir about recovering from devastating losses and creating a life that is meaningful and deeply satisfying. She is a pioneer in the use of "right brain" techniques and has lectured internationally on the constructive use of imagination since 1980.
My seventh book, Between Fires, begins in 1961, when the fierce Santa Ana winds hurled flames across the thirsty hillside of Bel Air, on the west side of Los Angeles. I ran with my two babies and a dog to escape the wildfire that burnt my home to the ground. Eighteen days later, my husband died of a heart attack. I was twenty-seven years old.
This story is a journey from despair to healing, to loving again and losing again and now to embracing a life of gratitude and purpose.
The species that doesn't adapt doesn't survive, and that's true of widows, too. Lessons I learned through dangerous choices and wise ones, lucky ones and embarrassing ones were all a preparation for the important ones I continue to make in this season of my life. Tonight, I embrace the unknown that tomorrow holds and whisper my gratitude for all that remains.
"Her book is like a very courageous and gutsy friend who understands the process of grief...that it takes time. It is one of the best memoirs I've ever had the pleasure to read. I also recommend it to all."
PERIE LONGO, PhD, MFT, Registered Poetry Therapist, Hospice Poetry for Healing Group
"Written in the best story-telling fashion, this is the kind of memoir that reads like a favorite novel. An engaging story of a wise woman and how she maneuvers through both the wonderful and the tragic. I laughed and cried, and at the end, I felt that I had learned some profound life lessons as well."
TRACY SHAWN, author of award-winning novel The Grace of Crows
All proceeds from Between Fires will be donated to Hospice of Santa Barbara.
If you would like to experience a free sample of my guided imagery, click the Play button on the audio player below and enjoy a meditation for "The Gift of Peace."