Lamentations of The Sea
111 passages on grief, love, loss and letting go
by BethAnne Kapansky Wright
Illustrations by BethAnne Kapansky Wright
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
Self-help | Bereavement | Grief | Poetry | Prose | Memoir
Congratulations to 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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About the Author
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.
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Q & A with BethAnne
Q: What inspired the title of your book?
Nature will give us the music and sounds we need to heal in a given moment, if we have the ears to listen.
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.
Q: What do you hope Lamentations of The Sea accomplishes?
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!
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?
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.