Truth and Crying

I did a radio interview yesterday afternoon, talking about The Truth About Death and my book launch this evening.  I was on the show “Attitude with Arnie,” hosted by Arnie Arneson, a well-known New Hampshire radio personality and former candidate for Governor.  The night before I’d called Arnie to talk a bit before the on-air interview and when I said, “How are you?” she answered in a hushed and somber voice, “I’m reading your poems.”  You can listen to the interview here, but if you don’t have time for that, here’s the quick synopsis.  Arnie’s husband has terminal cancer and Arnie is very close to the issue of losing a loved one.  She recently brought an aunt home from the hospital to die.  She understands how we all live right next to death, and she found my book very, very hard to read.  But necessary and real.  At one point in the interview she started to cry and asked me to take over the talking, which I did.  Crying is okay, in fact, sometimes I miss how much I cried in the year after Eric died, because of how deep the release of troubling emotions can be in those moments.  I know The Truth About Death is just that — hard, sorrowful truth about what it is to lose someone who is at the center of your life.  But I know how much I wanted that truth in the early months of disorienting grief, and I hope this book speaks to others in that place, and to those who’ve yet to experience that kind of loss.  The truth about death is that it’s what happens to all of us, and sometimes first to those we think we can’t bear to lose.  The more we can live with that truth the more fully present we can be to what is in our life right this moment.  For me right now, that’s morning sunshine with a full day of truth telling ahead.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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