“Loss. A word containing only four letters, yet it is so enormous in scope that it has the capacity to strike terror into hearts everywhere.”
A book can hold a different place in many people’s lives. It was at the Barnes and Noble signing event of Carole Brody Fleet where I discovered the true meaning to this idea. Books in my life, at least, have always been an escape, a bridge to a new world or a never-ending road of education. I never experienced anything else from books, so I’d never realized that there were such other moving realms of topics and purposes of books. In the late-night intimate gathering of Fleet’s followers, we discovered her path and reasoning around creating novels that were so motivational and inviting in relation to the taboo topics of loss and widows. She was so obviously driven to inspire others and guide themselves through the process of grief. Fleet’s passion for guiding others in their time of need radiated out of her as she spoke. Every line she read held so much emotion and a deep hunger to create a sense of connectivity in the community of the widowed or simply the individuals who’ve lost a loved one.
“Grief is measured by love. It’s our way of reconciling the knowledge that while life will never again be the same, we’ll strive to go on…”
It was from the moment that I sat in the chair in front of her podium that I was welcomed, as Carole Brody Fleet immediately began creating a connection with me. It is in these simple gestures of getting to know her readers and genuinely wanting to help the society around her that made the event so powerful. The reading centered around Fleet’s newest novel on grief, Loss Is a Four-Letter Word: A Bereavement Boot Camp for the Widowed–Kick Grief in the Ass and Take Your Life Back. This was her fourth book on grief and dealing with loss, and it undeniably touched her reader’s hearts as one of the women at the reading happily announced that she has read all of her books and followed her from the beginning as Fleet’s words and advise helped guide her through her loss. The insuperable amount of love was indescribable as it seemed to hum in the air as the women who attended felt secure and safe in the environment that Fleet created. For a majority of the night we discussed loss and grieving; women even spoke up about their experience on the loss of a spouse and how it was Fleet’s novels that helped them work through their loss. The gathering was a monumental step forward for San Diego’s literary community, particularly in regards to those who are widowed, as it’s a demonstration that discussing grief should not be snubbed and that it should be welcomed and embraced.