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May 23, 2017

Grief is not something I have experienced too much of in my life, but it’s not something I, or anyone else, can really avoid. Certainly, the dread of how I’ll feel, what I’ll do, and how the world will look after the loss of a loved one have haunted me at four am.  Fortunately, I haven’t had to manage through such a loss yet. But every day, as we go on about our lives, there is someone grieving the loss of a loved one.

One tragic story was that of Dr. Carrie Packwood Freeman. I’ve known Carrie for a few years through our mutual interest and careers in communicating about animals – she’s a professor at Georgia State University, and her work on how the media sometimes fails to fairly represent animals profoundly changed my views when I worked as a journalist. In a recent email exchange, I learned of Carrie’s story: she was widowed at 29, when her husband died of cancer.

Following her own ups and downs with grief, Carrie took what she learned and combined it with her love of journaling, and created The Widow’s Journal: Questions to guide you through grief and life planning after the loss of a partner. This beautiful book differs from many of the self-help books Carrie read in that it doesn’t tell the reader what to do, or what to expect, but encourages introspection, bereavement, and looking to the future through probing questions and journaling.

To share her at times heart-breaking, at times inspiring journey, Carrie joined The Everyday Fray Podcast for an honest, in-depth conversation about grief, journaling, and life after loss.