I first came across Mike Stavlund having met a friend of his and made contact with her on facebook. She alerted me to his poetry and I think poets are awesome so I was fascinated to see that he was giving a talk at the Wild Goose festival last summer and made sure I caught it. It was unexpected and wonderful. This is what I wrote here just afterwards in my daily recap:
My main session for the afternoon was Mike Stavlund talking about Integrating Our Losses. He is about to publish a book which he basically wrote five years ago - one chapter a week following the death of his baby son. Echoing words from one of my friends recently, he said that we have to stop trying to assign a hierarchy of loss - "Our heart doesn't know the difference it just experiences loss." He read sections of his book which were very moving, chaired the discussion of grief and loss in a really lovely way and made me cry reading the lyrics of a song by The Cobalt Season which was based on one of his blog posts during that time (lyrics, audio). It was a beautiful and profound time.So the long-awaited book is here. I'll read it as soon as I can and maybe write about it again, but it's on my mind now, and so I get to write about it now if I want to!