aboutspacer poetryspacer chapbookspacer nonfictionspacer spaceranthologies spacerHome




In August 2009, our sixteen-year-old daughter was in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury.  She died a few days later in the hospital.  You might think that such a mind-numbing tragedy would cut you off from engaging in a creative act like writing, might make you too exhausted for the investment it takes to also reflect on the experience. 

But, the first thing I was compelled to write were entries on a hospital care blog to keep everyone abreast of what was happening.  And, I responded to the outpouring of love for my daughter in posts by those same friends and family.  Then, the next thing I wrote was her eulogy for her funeral.  So, I was already pushing beyond that damning wall of grief.   

That first year I didn’t write every day, but I did create a blog called The Green Door: A Year of Ushering Grief.  The act of writing, perhaps like no other time in my life, became my companion, the constant the way my daughter had been my constant.  And, I found it was an unending connection to her, like a layer of skin that I was never without.

Here is an excerpt from the memoir on the day in Key West when I found the green door:    

July 24
     I take a picture of a green door today.  It is in the lot where Kevin and I park the car.  Chickens and cats roam the dirt lot and chameleons stretch out on the brick walls for siesta. The door is painted the color of new green leaves, and it is firmly planted in a dirt plot; darker green weeds have grown up around it, a few feet from what looks like an abandoned artist studio. At first, I am delighted by its “Alice-in-Wonderland” absurdness.  Then, I am reminded of the lines from the Buddhist poem on Emily's funeral card: Birth and death are only a door/Through which we go in and out.