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  • Writer's pictureRachel Kodanaz

It’s One Year Later

In grief, we often refer to the anniversary of a loved one as an “angelversary,” the annual remembrance of our loved one who has left a tattoo on our heart. I now have the opportunity to celebrate two angelversaries: the first on April 14th when my husband Rod passed away, and the second on September 10th – the anniversary of publishing “Living with Loss, One Day at a Time.”

I never imagined that the journey of being widowed at such a young age would culminate in a book that has reached thousands of readers in its first year of print. For years, people have asked me why I stay so close to the topic of grief rather than pursue my career in Information Technology and Telecommunications, which would provide greater compensation. My answer has always been the same – because I can. My business background allows me to clarify the emotions associated with grief and to ask the questions that a griever yearns to answer each day. As for becoming a published author, I need to give a shout-out to my 10th grade creative writing teacher who informed me that based on my writings, I was the only one who did not understand the English language. Needless to say, with the input of so many grievers in my 22-year journey, I have added my tattoo to the language of Grief.

Thanks to you, my readers, this book has far exceeded my hopes. You’ve not only read my words, but you have also shared them with those you care most about. Here are just a few of the many heartwarming comments you have written:

Friends, family, and even strangers reached out to comfort me, but it was Rachel’s words that began to bring me back to life.

For so many reasons, this is a must read for anyone who has suffered loss, in all the ways it is experienced: death … divorce … business failure … injuries … dreams.

I now give this as a gift to anyone experiencing loss. It is with gratitude that I thank Rachel for helping all of us who have loved and lost.

Certainly this go-to guide should be on everyone’s bookshelf – waiting at the ready for the day when it will be needed.

I only wish I had had a book of this significance at that time to have helped me through my grief.

This book is a great gift to ourselves and others. It is a great “shelf” staple in times of many sorts of needs. You can pick it up and turn to any page for a fresh and needed perspective, pick up and move on.”

While I cannot take the pain away from a loss or have the ability to reverse history, I hope that Living with Loss, One Day at a Time provides practical tools to grieve as an individual, family and community. Recently, a woman shared with me that the book brought life to her quiet dinner table. She purchased a couple copies of the book to share with her family, as she believed they were all suffering in silence and needed a way to understand each other’s emotions. Each day they read a page of the book and shared their feelings about the topic and how it related to them. As a result, dinner conversations had more energy and her family constructively engaged each other in sharing thoughts about their loss.

Just like a tattoo that people permanently affix to their bodies, the loss of a loved one is permanently affixed to our hearts. I am humbled to walk the journey with my readers during this past year and hope to provide continued support and clarity to a complex topic that has such a unique language.

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