This has been the hardest year of my life. So much loss. And somehow publishing a book called “How to Say Goodbye" feels like the most hopeful thing I can do right now.
Thank you SO much for sharing this inside look at your last year. Your description of the hairpin turn is something I'm very familiar with. And, as someone who studies and loves rivers, a hairpin turn often turns into an oxbow where your present connects with your past. Magical things happen there. The hairpin is unexpected and uncertain and hard. The oxbow is where the hard work pays off. It's out there and will appear just as sudden as the hairpin if you stay present in each of the moments along the way. Think inner tube, not raft. :-) Cheers to you, and thank you, for letting go of this beautiful work.
Thank you for writing this book and for sharing about what you are going through. Your description of the hairpin turn is right on. I recently had such a year. In 2020 I lost my mom and have had such a hard time processing it. She was the person in the world I was closest to. But that and the next year brought a multitude of other difficulties (ice storm dropped a tree on my house, watching my dad’s depression and feeling helpless, and so much more...) This summer has been the most light, relaxing, inspiring, and normal-feeling since. So much is due to the GUT getting me drawing and part of a creative community again. Thank you for the GUT. Thank you for this book. I’ve preordered and I’m getting it today. I can’t wait to read it and I think I will need to keep a box of tissues next to me.
Wendy, I am so sorry for the pain and loss you’ve experienced — and so grateful to you for somehow transforming them into a gift for all of us. You are such a good human. ❤️
I know this isn’t a coincidence, but more synchronicity, that I decided to start reading your newsletter today and you shared about your book, just as it’s near the 2-year anniversary of my mom’s passing. I’m also losing my job due to company reorganization and just trying to be positive about the change and wanting to do something different. What inspiration you’ve started, making me think more about my art and where I want to go with it. Right now most of my drawings are unfinished because I’m usually so busy and lose motivation but I might just make time to finish and share them 😊 congratulations on your book, it’s an amazing work and inspiring to know good things can happen even when it feels like the world is falling apart.
All the ❤️. You are so brave. Your work and big heart are a gift.
Thank you, Wendy, for sharing the good, the hard, the sad, the heart. You are giving us life in so many ways. I hope you feel our bubbles of gratitude buoying you up. Can’t wait to read and share your book!
Love you so much, Wendy! You are a beautiful, creative, kind soul. Grateful to work with you. Thank you for sharing this book with the world.
Your work is a gift to all of us. I preordered a copy when you first let us know about it, then promptly forgot and preordered again when you shared it recently. I’m thrilled I’ll have a copy to gift to someone who needs it!
I don’t even know how to properly thank you for how you changed my life in the past year , so I’ll draw another sketch like I do everyday now and believe in myself more like I do. Thank you for your vulnerability and also your strength and resilience and kind and playful badass leadership of our little community. 💪❤️✏️🎨🌸🍃🌿
Stepping into the light and allowing it to expose every inch of our souls and body, where we hold our breath for what seems an eternity, is a step we all must take. Where we look over the proverbial edge and decide if we can jump into the unknown or step back from the light. But stepping back only keeps us in one spot, frozen with fear. We back away from what could be, if only we could trust the free fall that comes from closing our eyes and taking that step...we may flail our arms and legs, screaming as we feel as if we’re plummeting to the earth, but then something amazing happens-we slow our thoughts, breathe deep, and begin to understand our purpose on earth, something we never would have understood had we stayed back from the edge. And that light? It never leaves us...it starts to glow strong again, lighting a fire within us to know all will be ok, and with a community of support, we will start to float, the buoyancy of love that surrounds us💛
(Not sure where I found these words Wendy, but your kind words struck a chord with me this morning and my head said, ‘Start writing...’)
It's good that you share like this Wendy. Whilst we must accept that death is part of life, there are times when deaths change our lives. ...... After nine deaths of good buddies during two years in a middle east oil war, I walked away from the military, hit the hippy trail. Then did a lot of other stuff..... Music, Multiple Businesses and divorces. A few years ago, after a spate of 31 deaths of colleagues and friends over 38 months, I sold up and walked away again, emigrated. In my current incarnation, I write and illustrate on life's naturally pivotal experiences. How we need to extrapolate the personal to the collective and choose to reverse humanity's devolution into Lemmings. Peace, Maurice
I cried and cried while reading your email today. I cried for shared losses that I’ve read in comments of our art. I cried for the loss of my friend Kath. I cried for all the hard life events that each of us face, alone and together in GUT and elsewhere. The most striking thought I held, is: we are alone in our life changes and losses, regardless of the time, depth , vulnerability or size of change, until we share.
Thank you Wendy for your kindnesses in words, drawing, art and deeds. AND, thank you Wendy for sharing.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Ph.D. Wrote:
“...one of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand and show your soul...Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul can send up flares, build signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of the Soul in ... times like these to be fierce and to show mercy towards others is an act of great mercy and greatest necessity. (It moves forward life)... and while ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend that part of the world that is within our reach...this is what GUT did for me. I am grateful.
Just got notification - How to Say Goodbye is at my front doorstep. Pre-ordered! Thank you for sharing your heart WendyMac. Loss and grief is as individual as a fingerprint. The friend that sent sweatpants? REAL friend. In my family of origin we call those (and any pants with elastic waist) Biscuit Eaters. As in - "come on over and wear your Biscuit Eaters" (insert Mom's Southern accent here) - a signal that there will be comfort food and it will be plentiful. Elastic waist allows eating at least one more biscuit without having to unbutton pants. Economy of effort! Circling you and yours with cosmic good ju-ju. May the good memories comfort you in the difficult days ahead. I cannot wait to get back home to spend the evening with your newest creation. Melissa B - Sacramento
Thank you for being you and for so kindly (and bravely!) offering your beautiful heart and gifts into the world. ❤️🤗
Wendy, you have given me joy and hope and courage and purpose through your work for the past 3 years, little things, a post here , a video there a Ted talk, this Substack, okay so not really that little...
And today I share your pain of loss, and I wish you didn’t have to feel it.
I wonder if by feeling it, the hurt, maybe you might feel it a little less.
I either way, we’re feeling it together, the loss. Thank you for sharing.
THANK YOU for this book and thank you for being so open in sharing what you've gone through. I read this book in galleys and loved it, then read it again when the final copy arrived and loved it even more. Beautiful work.