Earlier this year, Martensville resident Dianne Young released the book ‘Dear Me: The Widow Letters’, an anthology of letters written by widows to their newly-widowed selves. Young, who is a widow herself, put a call out to widows asking, “If you could send a letter back in time to your newly-widowed self – that heartbroken and overwhelmed woman – what would you say?” The response Young received was astounding. A total of 20 letters were chosen and included within the book, which Young hoped would not only help newly-widowed women through their grieving process, but also help others to better understand what a widow is going through.
Following the success of ‘The Widow Letters’, Young decided to pursue another project; ‘Dear Me: The Mother Letters’. This book will include letters from mothers that have experienced the loss of a child, this time asking the question; “If you could send a letter back in time to your newly-bereaved self, what would you say?” For women that have experienced such loss, would they write themselves words of comfort; advice; hope; encouragement; warning; all of the above and more?
Young wanted to provide an outlet for mothers to share their experiences with others. “For me, as a widow, ‘Dear Me: The Widow Letters’ was extremely helpful and I learned so much. I found that book to be not only good for widows, but for others that wanted to understand better what a widow goes through. I thought the same would be true for mothers that have experienced the death of a child. I think it would be good for people to see what women would say to themselves and what that situation is like. It is not something you can imagine at all and sometimes people have a hard time understanding what others are feeling, or struggling with,” Young said.
Letters will be accepted until the end of 2019. In January of 2020, she will begin the task of going through each letter and choosing a collection to be included within the book. Letters can be written by mothers that have lost their child at any age. “Whether it is at birth, a young child, a teenager or an adult, no matter the age, your son or daughter is always your child. I think there will be a lot of depth to the book as there will be a lot of different ages, and experiences.”
As letters came in for the first book, Young received much feedback from the women that submitted letters, stating that they had found the process to be quite therapeutic, which Young is hoping will be the same for her upcoming book. “I hope this can be a way to get people opening up and sharing and enlightening people that don’t know what to say or do after someone they love experiences such loss. Hopefully this can be a way to better educate people on a better way to approach women that have lost a child.”
Going through the letters for ‘Dear Me: The Widow Letters’, Young could see similarities in some of the stories, but each one was unique to that person, which she anticipates will be the same for the submissions that come in from mothers. “It is unique because the individual they lost is a unique individual and their relationship with that person is different than anyone else’s. I suspect it will be the same as a mother that has lost a child. That connection, no one else has that.” Young said.