Monday, December 1, 2014

Another Loss

I am shocked and bereft yet again this week.

The great and glorious founder of Get Born, our fearless leader, Heather Lowell, passed away yesterday. She was only seven years older than I, yet cancer overtook her and she could not break free in the end. She leaves behind four wonderful daughters and a tribe of friends so fiercely loyal to her and inspired by her, and now we are all feeling lost.

Heather was the first person to take the chance on publishing me. It was an unpaid gig, but my writing reached many more people and my confidence grew in submitting to other online magazines. Most of the poems I published in my self-published book this year were taken from my Get Born work. And most importantly, on Get Born I met a passel of women whom I will treasure forever.

Including Heather.

She gave us a place to write that was not all sugar syrup and nostalgia, that was safe to share the hard things about parenting, too. She encouraged us to share our truth and not shy away from what it might mean. And giving us a place to do this also gave us permission. Encouragement. Inspiration. And camaraderie.

I didn't get to go visit her at the hospital, but a few months ago, she was going through a rough patch and I went to visit her at home. I rubbed her hands and feet while we chatted and joked, and I watched a parade of her tribe coming and going from her house, dropping off her girls, bringing meals, doing yardwork, and generally being helpful. I just cannot believe that magnet for friendship and openness is gone.

I feel her loss so keenly today.

Please, if you feel like you could, consider giving a few dollars to this fund set up to help look after her daughters:

Me, center, Heather is to the right, at a feminist blogger's conference

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