Tuesday, September 9, 2008

call for submission - zine on loss, grief, families, survival

I got this call for submission + am going to write for it, and thought you might want to too.

we're golden
a zine about loss, grief, families, and survival

on november 15, 2007, my father committed suicide. at the time, my family was in the midst of declaring bankruptcy, our house was going into foreclosure, and i had been out of school for three months because my parents couldn't afford the private school education we had decided on a year before. my father had attempted suicide in august, but failed the first time. i guess the second time we failed him.

we're golden is a documentation of my first year of grief. month by month. tear by tear. memory by memory. dedicated to my beautiful father and friend, john "two", in hopes that his life, and the life i've started to muddle through without him, can bring comfort, change, and perhaps even support as you grapple through your own stories of heartache, loss, or struggle.

pain, along with grief, is extremely individual. and for that purpose, i'm requesting submissions for we're golden from those who would like to share their own insights or stories on matters pertaining, but not limited to: suicide, death, families, bereavement, illness, financial burdens, friendship, therapy, education, the idea of "home", ...

what was your friend's memorial service like? what was it like to move out of your childhood home? what helped you through your grandparent's illness? what did your friend's do when your mother got sick? what helped? what didn't help? what could you do to help your friend through their depression? how did you support yourself through school? after school? when did you finally decide to seek help with bereavement? when did you realize that therapy was/wasn't helping? what band, author, person, movie, helped you through your grief?

every one of you has a story to tell. maybe you've told it before, maybe you tried to but couldn't, maybe you could barely make sense of the story yourself. but now i'm asking you to tell your story or remember a person you've lost in whatever way you like. the ultimate goal of this zine is to bring beauty and aid out of the pain we've felt; to remember the fights and the people; to make sense of our stories, and to help you make sense of yours.

what's really helped me through my grief is being able to talk about my dad - sharing my memories of the 19 years i got to spend with him, and ultimately, talking through what went wrong. it's painful and sad of course, but what's kept me sane is hearing other people's stories. being reminded that people before me have survived their ordeals or are still in the midst of their battles. knowing that our fragile selves have been tested and maybe, if you've found peace, i can too.

the release date will be january 15, 2009, which would have been my father's 59th birthday. i'm hoping to have each chapter be one month of the year and to have an outside submission in between each month. it's going to be a bit massive, yes, and very ambitious, but i think the end result will be something really important and meaningful, and i hope most of all helpful. submissions could be in whatever form you choose: story, poem, song, photograph, artwork, even a golden piece of advice or lesson learned, etc. the more variety, the better. please feel free to submit anonymously as well. any help, guidance, suggestions or support are of course encouraged and appreciated.

i haven't decided on a deadline, but i'd say december 1st is a safe date. you can email me at gmereg at gmail. real mail is great too! you can send me stuff at
43 hathaway road
bronxville, ny 10708

thanks for listening and happy september
love, grace


Sheila said...

Dear Doris: Just read your article. I would love to share my story('s) with you! Slightly different, as I'm sure each one is, but, I lost my Dad when I was 16. He'd been in and out of hospitals since I was 6. At that time (1962), us kids weren't permitted into the Coronary Care Unit (Heart Attack area). So, I married a man nearly 20 yrs my senior, when I was 19, I think to try and replace my Dad, which HE didn't. In fact, was the exact opposite of Dad. Oh, from that divorce, I then jumped into a relationship with a ATHIEST, which nearly cost me my life. After 15 yrs in that mess, somehow I finally met the man my Mom had always wanted for me, who I'd met a few months after Dad died, at our Christian Teen Camp. HE really was a carbon copy of Dad & I had the best 3 yrs of my life. But, like Dad, he took suddenly ill, and passed away.
Anyways, it's about a 3 page story, so if you would like me to send to you, I'd be happy to, just let me know.
God Bless you Doris !
I pray you won't make the same mistakes that I did.
Sheila Joyce Gibbs

Terrie Modesto, PhD said...

Dear Doris
I rally admire you and your loved ones courage as your journey through the grief process of the death of your father. A death of a parent is often very traumatic and sad and the amount of struggle you and your loved ones are having is tremendous. SYou have experienced so many losses for you in such a short period of time.

Please know that you and your family did not fail your father. The illness of depression failed to allow your father to elect other options for his life.

You are electing a much different path for yourself in transforming the pain of a self participated death of a suicide into a healing vehicle for yourself and for others. The illness of depression stole the current physical presence of your father in your life yet the gift of your zine is and will continue to be a living and thriving tribute to your father and to the healing process in grief.

On a professional level I am a thanatologist with a PhD in the studies of dying, death, grief, and disaster preparation, loss and recovery. I would be honored to offer my professional services in submitting articles to your “we’re golden”.

On a personal level I am the only surviving child of seven, my dad died when I as 3, my mom attempted suicide several times while I was growing up. I experienced the death of the last two members of my immediate family (Granddad and Mom) within the span of 34 days as I was completing my doctoral program and two years later the death of my 20 year significant other life partner. Death has a mighty sting but does not have to kill us and our love of life.

January 15th will be an outstanding day of celebration of the eternal gift of love you will offer in tribute to your dad john “two”.

My very best to you.

Dr. Terrie Modesto
Chief Thanatologist
TEAR Center