I was born and raised in on the East Coast of Canada, only a stone-throw away from the Atlantic ocean. I always loved to view the water from the beach, but swimming was not an obsession of mine. Instead, I would sit on the sand with my nose buried in a comic book or a good novel. At this time, I never dreamed of becoming an author. It wasn’t until much later, when I was struck by grief, that I found writing as a way to heal.
I spent many years working in Palliative and Bereavement care. Throughout these years, I always kept journals as a hobby. But after experiencing personal loss, I turned to journalling as a way to express my feelings and support myself through my grief. It took about two years until I felt I no longer needed to write my way through my pain, and another six months for me to read what I had written. It was challenging reliving my pain when reading my journals, but I gave myself permission to feel and to heal. These feelings motivated me to write a book to help others who were bereaved.
I self-published my first book, Get Over It!: Surviving Grief to Live Again, in 2005. I planned to call it “Moving Forward,” but David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and Dragon on Dragon’s Den, convinced me of its current title. The idea was that the book would help the bereaved get over the pain of their loss, not get over their loved ones who have died. When I asked David if I should change the title when the book is reprinted, he said yes. Since then, I have published three more books and I continue to journal as I believe I have so much more to write.
When reflecting on my life, I can see I have accomplished a lot. I have been a waitress and a salesclerk. I have worked with the Victorian Order of Nurses and I have helped people navigate grief as a motivational speaker and bereavement counsellor. I have earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and I have certificates in gerontology, palliative and bereavement care, counselling and death studies. I have even hosted a TV show, Present Company with Audrey Stringer, to highlight important business women in my local community. I continue to learn, write, navigate loss and help others on their journeys towards healing. Yes, I have accomplished a lot. But, there is always more to come.