Turning Grief and Loss into Art, Words and Memorials

Mysteries of the Creative Process: A Panel Discussion
April 30, 2015

Please join us for this panel discussion. Author Carol Flake Chapman will talk about her new book, Written in Water: A Memoir of Love, Death and Mystery, which is about how she wrote her way through grief after losing her husband. She is joined by artist Gale Gassiot, who illustrated the book, and will be talking about her process of creativity in responding to this story. Photographer Ave Bonar will talk about her amazing project, The Larry Monroe Forever Bridge, a community made tile mosaic project which she created to honor her beloved partner.

Here is a news article about The Larry Monroe Forever Bridge project.

Here is the Facebook Group for the The Larry Monroe Forever Bridge.

Written in Water is available locally at Bookpeople and on Amazon.

Written in Water may alter the way you look at love and death. Almost certainly, it will alter the way you look at grieving. And it may even alter your perceptions of ordinary reality. When veteran journalist Carol Flake Chapman loses her husband suddenly in a kayaking accident on a remote Guatemalan river, she is thrust without warning into a time of grief and shock. But in her altered state, she soon realizes that grief has opened the doors to possibilities of consolation that she could never have imagined. Her time of grieving becomes a kind of improvised pilgrimage that takes her around the world in a journey of discovery, as she explores who her peaceful-warrior husband really was and what her place might be in the world without him. Along the way, she encounters what she comes to think of as “necessary angels”—people who appear at the right place at the right time with the right words or acts of comfort. She travels into the “thin places”—the places where the boundaries between heaven and earth, between reality and dream, become permeable. She introduces the concept of “Slow Grief,” of a way of grieving that embraces life and that takes comfort in all its small and large miracles. Even technology becomes a means of healing. And in her encounters with the natural world, she finds not only connection and healing, but also a threshold of transformation. As she writes, “the invisible gossamer threads of connection became visible.” And always there is music, some of it coming from what she calls the “cosmic playlist”—songs that deliver timely messages of comfort and meaning. She recounts in raw, moving and often riveting detail the small indignities, the bottomless sorrows and transcendent moments that come with death and the pursuit of healing.