111 passages on grief, love, loss and letting go
by Dr. BethAnne Kapansky Wright
Illustrations by Dr. BethAnne Kapansky Wright
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
ISBN 978-0692834589 | Paperback: 236 pages | 6” x 9”
Self-help | Bereavement | Grief | Poetry | Prose | Memoir
Congratulations to Dr. BethAnne K.W.!
Lamentations of The Sea: 111 passages on grief, love, loss and letting go won the 2017 NAUTILUS SILVER BOOK AWARD in the category of Death/Dying, Grief/Loss
Dedicated to anyone who has ever loved and lost.
Lamentations of The Sea is a lighthouse in the dark for anyone who has known loss. This collection of personal essays, reflections, poetry, and prose follows the journey of the author after losing her brother as she takes a passage of grief and finds light and love along the way. Honest, authentic and heartfelt, Lamentations of The Sea offers perspectives on loving and losing through a spiritual, psychological and personal lens leaving the reader with a sense of understanding, comfort, and hope.
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#2 in Amazon Hot New Releases in Love & Loss!
About the Author
Dr. BethAnne Kapansky Wright is a Clinical Psychologist who enjoys writing, illustrating, and creating. She specializes in dealing with women’s issues, life transitions, trauma, grief work, and finding healing in our relationships, particularly our relationship with our self. She believes in authenticity, intuition, the power of love, finding laughter and joy, and learning to be more fully human.
She currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her soul mate and their furkids and is planning a move in the near future to the beautiful island of Kauai so she will always find beaches, ocean, and rainbows.
Q & A with BethAnne
Q. What inspired the title of your book?
A. Water has always been a huge source of inspiration in my life. I love lakes, rivers, and streams, and especially the ocean which sings to my soul.
Nature will give us the music and sounds we need to heal in a given moment, if we have the ears to listen.
When my brother passed away, I happened to be on the island of Kauai, and those first initial days of processing my pain and grief were spent by the ocean, staring out at the horizon, listening to the sound of the waves, watching the tide go in and out, feeling like the water was weeping with me. That’s when the word “lamentations” really sprang to my mind, because that’s what it felt like during those days—the sea was singing to me, lamenting with me, offering my hurting heart solidarity, healing, and solace. And the title rose from there.
Q. Were there parts of this book that were really hard to write? How did you maintain emotional and psychological balance during the writing process?
A. The bulk of the “Spring” section was the hardest to write. Last spring is when I dissolved, devolved really, into chaos with my grief, and I went to the heart of my darkness and pain. It was a messy, difficult, isolating time and writing about it, and choosing to share those tender, vulnerable experiences, was challenging.
This book is interesting in the sense that much of it was written as I traveled through the space of 2016. I didn’t write it in reflection, I wrote it while I lived it. Having said that, I didn’t realize that the things I was writing at the time were going to take shape in the form of this book, so when I began to put Lamentations of The Sea together back in the fall, it required me to put my emotional hip waders on, and wade back into my own words of everything I had just been through.
I have lived, and relived, and relived some more the worst moment of all that pain, and I realized somewhere in that process that emotional hip waders were not enough, and I needed a full on scuba suit to go deep sea diving in the waters of my own grief.
Part of me wondered if it was crazy to write this book when the grief was still so near, even as part of me insisted on writing it and felt these words were needed so others would know they are not the only one who experience these feelings.
I found balance through nature—walks and runs and hikes that helped ground me when I began to get lost in the work. Also, after 15 years as a Psychologist, I am well practiced in dealing with trauma, finding balance, and navigating deep emotional waters, which served me well in writing this book. I have a lot of self-care and self-kindness practices built into my life, which help me stay emotionally and psychologically grounded. And also the dogs and cat! Never underestimate the medicine the heart receives from cuddling with your fur friends.
Q. What do you hope Lamentations of The Sea accomplishes?
A. I hope it helps others to not feel so alone in their own pain and their own experience of self.
As a culture, we seem to lack a vocabulary to talk about grief in an honest, open, genuine way; so many people don’ know what to say to someone who is going through a grieving process, and as the griever, most of the time we don’t know what to say about our own process!
Also, it is my observation that many people struggle with seeing how grief and pain can be a gift to the soul, if we let it. That was the driving force behind writing “The Grace of Being,” because I felt like my sorrow and sadness made people uncomfortable, they just wanted to cheer me up, but I knew for my own process these were necessary feeling states to go through in order to learn lessons for my heart and soul.
My wish is that the transparency and experiences in this book help give others permission to fully embrace their own process and know it is okay. They are okay. Whatever they feel. However, they feel. Wherever they are at.
Q. What are you working on now? What is your next project?
A. I have four manuscripts, in various stages of progress, up on my computer as I type these words—I can never seem to just do one thing at a time!
The first is a collection of prose, meditations, illustrations, and poetry with the working title, Heliotrope Nights: Starlight for the Mind and Soul, which will be out through Golden Dragonfly Press in late May or early June.
The second is a Women’s Anthology that will feature a collection of poetry, prose, and reflections from a variety of women around the theme, Songs for Our Country, which is slated for publication in July of 2017.
The last two are 1) a book of wisdom on finding the good and joy in the every day and 2) a book on self-love. These are definite works in progress, are taking shape as I go, and will most likely be out next fall and next winter respectively.
Q. What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A. You get to live in the land of imagination, ideas, and possibilities. I love letting all three of those things take over when I write, then see how the writing shapes itself. I also love the creative process and seeing something whose inception was just a notion or dream in your mind, become something you put onto paper, become a finished product.
Q. Do you have a reading list for 2017?
A. I have a huge stack of unread books! My taste runs very eclectic—I’ll read anything if it catches my interest—at present my stack includes:
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmerman Bradley (a favorite I reread time to time)
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science by Anne Wilson Schaef
Here I Am by Jonathon Safran Foer
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Q. What places would you recommend for a first-time visitor to Alaska?
A. Where would I start! We are such a huge state, and it all depends on what kind of experience you want to have! If you want somebody else to take care of all the details, then there are a lot of great cruises that take you through the interior and show you some of the pristine beauty of the state and wonderful views of wildlife, glaciers, and fjords.
Driving down the Turnagain Arm and taking a trip to Seward or Homer to enjoy a weekend of water, fishing, and beach is always a good thing. Stop in Girdwood on the way, enjoy some pizza at Chair 5 and take the tram up and down Mt. Alyeska for beautiful vistas.
For the adventurous, there are so many mountains in the Chugach Range that are easily accessed on foot and provide spectacular views. Drive up to Hatcher’s Pass and find a hike there, visit an old mine, or just enjoy the scenery and awesome wonder of this state. You can also charter all sorts of expeditions to some of the places that are harder to reach if you are interested in getting off the grid and truly experiencing the back country.
And if you happen to find yourself in Anchorage—take a walk on the Coastal Trail, have brunch at Red Chair, rent bikes and bike to Westchester Lagoon, enjoy the shops of downtown, drive up to Flattop and hike as much or as little as you want for a spectacular view, go to Simon and Seaforts for dinner and enjoy the coastal views and great food. And if you are here in the summer (highly recommended over winter) stay up late and marvel at what it’s like to be in a place where the sun barely sets around Solstice time.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you choose to do. Alaska is a wonderful, diverse state with so many hidden gems and gifts of natural wonder.