Friday, November 6, 2009

Welcome Jean Reagan

Welcome to Jean Reagan, author of Always My Brother. Here is a post directly from her about grief and how writing became an important part of the healing. Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and writing.

When my 19-year old son John died of a drug overdose, I was emotionally paralyzed. All the layers of hope for his recovery instantly vanished, yet still lingered in my mind and heart. I knew I should journal, but the task seemed overwhelming. At the same time I worried I would forget critical thoughts and memories if I didn’t write them down.

I’m a list-maker by nature, so I came up with a strategy that worked for me. Initially, all I required of myself was to list headings on the top of journal pages. Then, when I had the emotional strength to write, I tackled the heading that seemed most manageable. I could dabble or dig deep. And, with these topics, I could always trigger memories I feared I would forget.

Here’re some of my topic headings:

Words and advice that haunt me.
The first time I held John.
Telling our daughter about John’s death.
Specific memories of his laughter, his gentleness.
Relief from worry—really?
Scanning crowds for his face.

Eventually many of these emotional truths made it into of my children’s book about sibling loss, ALWAYS MY BROTHER. (Tilbury House Publishers, June 2009)

One unexpected joy I experienced in writing this story was that I could “rewind” John’s life to a younger and healthy period before he was tortured by drug addiction. For more information about the story behind the book, visit

Thanks Jean for this valuable inspiration. The book is beautiful and your words will touch many.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Join me for a blog tour....right here NOV 7th

I am so happy to be able to participate in the virtual blog tour for

  • author Jean Reagan . She has written a beautiful picture book
  • about the grief children feel with the death of a sibling. She will
  • post about journaling and how important it is to write about how

you feel.

Always My Brother Tour

Nov. 1 — Welcome from Tilbury House -

Nov. 2 — Griefcase -

Nov. 3 — Author Jean Reagan's website —

Nov. 4 — Healing the Grieving Heart -

Nov. 5 — Grief Speaks -

Nov. 6 — Chronicles of an Infant Bibliophile -

Nov. 7 — heartfeltwords4kids -

Nov. 8 — I Did Not Know What to Say -

Nov. 9 — Moziesme -

Nov. 10 — Anastasia Suen -

Nov. 11 – Maw Books -

Nov. 12 — Author Emily Wing Smith -

Nov. 13 — Bri Meets Books -

Blog Comment Prizes

We will draw 7 lucky winners from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts (Nov.1-13) to win one of the following prizes:

- A copy of Always My Brother signed by author Jean Reagan (5 available)*- A set of 10 winter notecards with art by illustrator Phyllis Pollema-Cahill (2 available)

* Winners are welcome to designate a grief center, school, or library to receive their signed copy in their place.All winners will be announced after the tour. US/Canada addresses only, please.

Twitter PrizeEveryone that tweets about the tour using the hashtag #AlwaysTour from

November 1-13 will be entered to win a set of three children's books from Tilbury House — your choice! Winners will be announced after the tour, US/Canada addresses only, please.