Newsletter: How Do You Grieve If You Don’t Love?

Dara LevanBlog, Every Soul Has A StoryLeave a Comment

Gratitude seems to be a buzz word. It’s one of the most frequently used adjectives across platforms and in daily conversations. I’ve noticed it especially during Thanksgiving and other holidays.

My hope is that with increased use of the word there will be a greater, collective awareness. That it won’t only be used to express joy for the good things in our lives, but for the tough and tender parts as well. For expectations that have or have not been met. For love that’s been lost. For people in our lives that we let go of and choose to love from afar. 

Can we experience and live with gratitude without grief? This is a question I explored during my Every Soul Has a Story LIVE podcast with author Leslie Hooton.

“The other side of the coin of grief is love.
 And there are moments you can grieve something you don’t have.”

– Leslie Hooton, Every Soul Has A Story Podcast

 I loved chatting with Leslie for a second time. We first met when she launched her debut novel, Before Anyone Else. We immediately connected on myriad levels. Instead of avoiding social media, as I did for years, I’ve pivoted and leaned into it. And meeting fellow writers has been one of many silver linings during this crazy time. I am #grateful for our #authorcommunity and #connections that began online and are cultivated offline.

Leslie and I spoke about the relationship between these two paradoxical emotions–grief and gratitude. We shared our experiences with grief, which can be more intense during the holidays, and the “invisible buttons” that activate even during joyous moments. 

But this wasn’t a downer. We also talked about the connection between love and grief. I’d keep writing more but you can listen here – Watch Podcast Episode.


“How do you grieve if you don’t love?”
– Dara

Speaking of Leslies, I interviewed another dynamo last month. Leslie Rasmussen is an author, dog lover, mom, wife, and former television sitcom writer. Her debut novel, After Happily Ever After, is witty, wise, and a fabulous read. After changing direction, Leslie self-started and ran a nutrition company for ten years and is now writing personal essays for Huffington Post, Maria Shriver, and others. If you haven’t read her book, check it out!

Click to Watch Podcast Episode.

Maybe Shakespeare was right? What is in a name? I am profoundly grateful to both Leslies for their lively, lovely, and insightful discussions. And as writing often does, it connected us to each other and shared experiences. I hope these candid, compassionate conversations speak to your heart as they did to mine.

With love and gratitude,

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