Tag Archives: nevergone

A Little Book of Hope

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops the cover of her new book of hope for the grieving.“OMG, You hafta see this. Look what I did,” I stop friends and strangers. “Look. I’m so proud,” I say, carefully unwrapping the small bundle that’s always in my arms these days, and shoving it at them. This must be terrifying to people. This is not really like me. It’s a little embarrassing, actually. And it feels a lot like I’m in love.

After my daughter died, five years ago, it took me six months to discover the healing powers of writing. Over a year passed before I found myself completely captivated by Photoshopping. And now, I have put these two life-saving pastimes together and birthed a tiny new book.

Stories with pictures are like comfort food. NeverGone: Reframing the Death and Grieving of the One You Love, with its twelve short illustrated stories (many from my recent blogs), is about regaining life and redefining it. It examines different ways to look at death. I wanted to make a book that would hug the heartbroken. Thinking of all my friends who are grieving for loved ones, I tried to plant hope on each page.

I’d always said I would never self-publish anything. And my 200-page memoir manuscript may end up being like one of those grown children who never leave home. But to see one’s work transformed into a freshly bound, polished package is to feel your blood turn into maple syrup.

It is just a little book (28 pages, half the size of a piece of copy paper). But writing it, and producing the illustrations, opened a window to the sun from the dark basement of my grief. I poured all my time, energy, and love into it. As if it were another daughter.



Do you know someone who is grieving? Are you grieving? NeverGone: Reframing the Death and Grieving of the One You Love is available for sale at Magcloud.com.



Dead but not Lost

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops layers of deer, rabbits, birds and plants in a springtime scene.“I will remember you forever. In this way, because I got to live, you will too,” my daughter had written to her friend who died. She was going to carry Jake with her for the rest of her days. So before she died, she had already prescribed what should happen upon a loved one’s death. I had to live so that my daughter “will too.” And because she loved Jake, he is along for the ride. Every day I wish my father, my daughter, and Jake good morning and goodnight. And in between, I live and love my time like I’m living for us all.

My daughter is dead but she is not lost. I’m carrying her with me. All the time.

The word ‘lost’ does not describe those we love who died. Language is inadequate for conveying things about death. There should be one beautiful, sad word that means ‘my loved one who died.’ My deceased beloved one, the one who died and gouged a huge hole in my heart. My mother who passed, my dead father, my angel child, my sister-in-heaven, my brother on-the-other-side. My dearly departed friend. The sweet spirit of my wife, the soul of my late husband, my forever-partner. My grandparents may-they-rest-in- peace. My beloved lost one (who’s not really lost).

We who love those-for-whom-there-is-no-one-single-word, keep their memories alive. We are their connection to the Earth now. The love is still here. The memory, their images, spirits, values, voices, …live on within us. They are never gone. NeverGone. Until I find another word, or sound, that’s what I will call my precious loved ones who died. NeverGones. My father is my NeverGone. My daughter is my NeverGone. And I will carry them until the day I am finally carried out of life myself.


Do you have any other ideas for similar terms of endearment? What phrases about death bother you?