Friend Grief and COVID: Pandemic Stories
As I’ve posted before, I got the idea for this book a year ago. I’d decided to update and rework the six little books in the Friend Grief series into one book, which was my original plan ten years ago.
But I realized pretty quickly that those few stories would be insufficient. People faced new challenges, including the inability to grieve normally due to enforced isolation. They lost coworkers - and their jobs. They watched friends in high-risk demographics suffer the most. People who’d been in the HIV/AIDS community for decades, like me, were triggered by what was now their second pandemic - while the first one still raged.
I resisted writing this book for months. My wonderful therapist and few trusted friends helped me work through my resistance. Writing for ten years about grieving our friends did not mean that writing this book would be easy. It’s not. Friend Grief and COVID: Pandemic Stories is a much more challenging book than I’d ever written, because the grief is so fresh.
Since May, I’ve taken two trips to New York and Washington, DC to do research and begin interviews. I found that the stories in this book are powerful and inspiring in ways I did not anticipate. And I can’t wait to share them with you.
But as an indie author, especially an indie author during a pandemic that initially tanked my business, I needed to find a way to fund this book. So for the first time in six years, I’m running a crowdfunding campaign to help cover expenses. Because of the subject matter, I couldn’t offer fun perks like I did on my last campaign. So I came up with one that I hope will be meaningful.
There has been an ongoing discussion about how we memorialize those who died from COVID. With over 700,000 dead so far just in the US, a physical memorial listing names - like the 9/11 Memorial or the Vietnam Memorial - is impractical. Even the AIDS quilt - with 50,000 panels and more added every day - is too big to display in its entirety. Other memorials like the I Remember flag installation on the National Mall, were created to be temporary.
So, I decided to offer the opportunity for supporters to create a small memorial to their friend who died during this pandemic by submitting a 25-word tribute that will go into a special section in the book.
It’s not enough for those who grieve. I know that. But it’s something I felt I could offer that might give the friends left behind a small measure of comfort.
The campaign will run through early January, but there is a limit on the number of tributes that can be submitted. I fully expect to meet that goal. So, if you’re interested, I hope you’ll check out the link today.
The friends we loved deserve to be remembered.