A little background about me and the book…

The story starts before I was born. My parents were married in the summer of 1969. My mom was eighteen and my dad sixteen. About a month after being married, my young father fell asleep at the wheel and crashed as he was coming home from work on a winding two-lane highway in Eastern Washington. He was in a coma and died two months later from his injuries. I often wondered how my young mother managed to stay sane and healthy during her pregnancy, so I could be born two days after her nineteenth birthday. I felt I may have been born with a “cellular sadness” as her grief seeped inside me as I grew in her womb. As a little girl I longed to have my dad in my life and didn’t understand how he could leave his family.

My mom never remarried, but I did have my Uncle Rick as a father figure. He was smart, funny, athletic and was always interested in what I had going on. He was a role model to me in many ways. Not only did he finish college with two degrees (BS in Zoology and a MS Mechanical Engineering), but he rode his twelve-speed bicycle 3,787 miles across the United States in 1975. When I was thirteen, he was hit and killed by a distracted driver who crossed the white line on the shoulder. My uncle was standing in front of his car tying down some surf gear and was crushed by the impact. I was heartbroken by his death.

In 2007 my mom was killed as a red light runner hit her and six other pedestrians as they crossed the street. I was extremely angry that another family member had died in a car crash. I couldn’t fathom how life could be so cruel. My mom’s death was like no other I had experienced. We were very close, and she was my best friend. I was attached to having her in my life and didn’t want this to change, but it had. I turned to books to find advice on how to grieve and I journaled my thoughts and feelings for three years. Both endeavors aided in my healing and I decided I wanted to share my story as others had with me. I thought about writing a book for many years, but it was a daunting task to add to my busy life as a mom, so I didn’t pursue it until I was almost an empty nester.

I share my story and healing journey with you in hopes you may find some peace, a connection and maybe even a laugh or two.

I’m a new author and mother of two grown sons, living in The Evergreen State of Washington. Garden of Grief is my debut book. I’ve poured my heart out onto the pages to share with you my journey of love, loss, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. My hope is that in my sharing you will find some peace and connectedness to a universal life situation – grief.

The process of writing this book was thirteen years in the making and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition. Dreams can take time, so be patient, persistent and most of all, be kind to yourself.

When I am not writing, or doing my day job as a program management consultant in the technology industry, you can find me hiking trails and listening to live music and dancing.

Kathy Cook's story
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