Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, and the Grief Journey

Over the weekend, this article about Rumpled was published in the Marshall Independent, my hometown newspaper. I did the interview last Monday. Beware, though: there is a spoiler in the interview (which the reporter quoted from the acknowledgements page at the END of Rumpled — I didn’t give any spoilers in my interview!)

Also over the weekend, my friend Marie sent me this post from an Irish photographer’s blog because it reminded her of Rapunzel’s tower. Absolutely gorgeous. (But for Rapunzel, a prison nonetheless, perhaps more beautiful from the outside.) Click on the image to read the complete blog post about it and to look at some more photos.

I just got back yesterday from a trip to Kentucky for my niece’s graduation. Those five days spent away from home (Friday to Tuesday) marked the first days I hadn’t cried since my cat died. Now that I’m back home and faced with her absence again, the work of grieving has returned. While I was away, my pet remembrance journal arrived. It is simple but beautifully designed and sensitively guided. I recommend it as a resource to anyone working through the loss of an animal companion, whether they consider themselves a “writer” or not. The prompts make it easy to call up memories of a pet, so it’s a good way to record an animal’s life if you might otherwise not know where to start. pet remembrance journalLast week I read Jon Katz’s Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, and one thing he emphasized was the importance of telling stories about our pets’ lives and our relationship to them. This journal is a really wonderful tool for telling those stories. Many of the prompts conjure memories I’ve already been writing about Phoebe, unbidden, in these past weeks, but most of them I will write again. I want to have them all in one place, but also, some stories — whether fairy tales or the moments that shaped your life — are worth telling again and again.