This week, I have a conversation with Melissa Lynne.
Melissa’s mother died in March 2014 and everything changed in that instant...her priorities, her career, her purpose and passion, her outlook on life and death. She crumbled into a heap under the blankets and shut out the world, where she stayed for almost a year. The thing that brought her back and kept her going was returning to the page, returning to the written word, returning to something that felt like life. The words came through her body and soul and heart and gut and quite literally saved her life. She wrote her way back to a life she needed and wanted to live. She resurfaced with a fearlessness to look grief head on and to feel all of it...the pain, the insanity, the beauty and love, the snotty tears on the shower floor or the shoulder of the kind stranger at the grocery store. She gave herself permission to grieve and trusted herself to feel anything that came.
Today, Melissa’s grief lives in her body, in that place where love and creativity intersect. Where she blesses and honors it. Where it’s fed and watered. Where it’s shown darkness and sunshine. Where it is cherished. Where it leads her one day into the next.
Melissa is co-founder/curator/editor of Grief Rites Foundation, where she encourages the use of art as agency to survive through grief. Connection and storytelling are how she walks beside others who are feeling the loneliness and isolation of grief. She is a death doula and a grief specialist. She is currently writing a grief memoir. Melissa lives in Portland, Oregon with her 3 children, 2 cats and 1 dog. She thrives in words and water and trees and moss and mist.
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