Q1: Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to write this book?
I am the Chief Overwhelm Eliminator at Pretty Smart Virtual Services – a full service virtual assistant company where we handle the day-to-day needs of clients from social media and website updates to strategy and full implementation. I’m a woman of God, wife of my best friend and a mother to 2 chirpy kids (birds), haha!
Initially, after my mom passed in July 2012, the book was intended to be about grieving the loss of a mother, and through a difficult relationship – as I had had with my mom. However, my journey took a different course. I was journaling, writing and getting my thoughts together for what I thought would be this previous idea for my book. During the 2 years that followed my mom’s death, I endured another 27 people dying. So the idea for the book turned into something quite different. It went from grieving the loss of one person to what happens when you experience multiple losses? How does that grief ‘compound?’
Along the way, I was inspired to share the tips I personally used for bringing joy to a situation as it related to my grief, and I thought it would be a valuable tool to incorporate into the book. I also worked with a branding coach for my business and realized I had a gift for supporting others through their grief, and I was even doing it in my business with clients. So I also added an aspect of dealing with loss as it relates to business, whether the loss of a business partner or a big client or how a death can impact a business relationship.
Q2: You are now going through another loss, so-to-speak, with your voice. How have you used what you have learned and share in your book when it comes to dealing with the loss of your voice?
I dedicated an entire chapter on the topic of the physical manifestations that grief can take in people. I learned a great deal about the various forms this can happen via interviews with folks who have and are enduring loss. I really feel like this is the platform for me to share about my condition, which by the way, is called abductor spasmodic dysphonia.
Funny story, a few years ago, I remember giving a talk about a month after my mom had passed away – and I decided to share on the topic of “Keep on Keepin’ On” – basically how folks persevere despite sometimes tragic circumstances. After I completed my talk, I sat down and a woman got up and shared how much she enjoyed the group and then turned to me and shared how much my talk had given her hope as she was coping with a terminal diagnosis that her mother had received. I have chills as I share this with you because I think that was truly the defining moment for me to say “ok, God, there’s nothing unique or different about me and my story…what’s different about me?” Well, you know the adage “ask and you shall receive” or “be careful what you wish for.” I can’t help but feel like I am on the path of this vocal disability for a reason…
Q3: What role do you think spiritual wellness and building a relationship with God has with your ability to overcome disappointment and loss?
Good question – I think if I didn’t have spiritual wellness and a relationship with God that I’d be in a potentially entirely different situation. I’m not sure I’d have the faculties in which to deal with so much loss. Sometimes I hear myself share with someone that I’ve lost 28 people in a 2-year period and I’m like “eeeek” did that really sound like THAT?!” And other times I really feel like God used the 2 year time period of loss to show me just how strong and courageous I truly am. I know that I depend on my faith and my relationship with God to get through every day and I don’t ever worry about tomorrow because I know that God is already there.
Q4: What will readers takeaway from the book?
There are four significant takeaways:
1) There is always, always always hope.
2) Support is out there, we only need to ask for it
3) Your grief is not what defines you
4) There is joy in the grief you may be going through now or have experienced in the past.
Q5: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes my advice for other writers is if you feel the calling to write…do it. Know that you don’t have to do it alone. I joined Catrice Jackson’s amazing 10-week “Brand You with a Book” Program, and she introduced me to my amazing publisher, Tieshena Davis at Purposely Created Publishing. It’s wonderful how the universe connected everything together for me to write my book. If I can do it in 10 weeks on a heavily emotional topic such as grief – you can write whatever is on your heart as well.
Connect with Dortha at www.RisingAboveTheAshes.com
- Author Chat with Cherri Walston - August 17, 2015
- Author Chat with Akela Renae - August 10, 2015
- Book Marketing -vs- Publicity - June 20, 2015
- How to Create an Irresistible Brand - May 13, 2015
- How to Partner with Libraries to Sell More Books - April 22, 2015
- Fast-Track Your Profits with Collaborations - April 15, 2015
- A Pop Culture Lesson for Authors - April 3, 2015
- Author Chat with Spicee Gray - April 1, 2015
- I’m On Social Media, Now What Do I Say? - March 25, 2015
- Author Chat with Dortha Hise - March 2, 2015