Charlene Diehl is a writer, editor, performer, and director of THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. She did her graduate work at the University of Manitoba, receiving a PhD in 1992 under the supervision of Robert Kroetsch. After a post-doc at McGill, and seven years as a professor in the English Department at the University of Waterloo, she returned to Winnipeg in 2000. She has published essays, poetry, non-fiction, reviews, and interviews in journals across Canada, and has to her credit a scholarly book on Fred Wah as well as a collection of poetry, lamentations, and two chapbooks, mm and The Lover's Handbook. Excerpts from Out of Grief, Singing, which appeared in Prairie Fire, won a Western Canadian Magazine Gold Award. She was the featured poet in the fall 2007 issue of CV2. When she's not chasing literary language (or her two speedy pre-teens), she edits dig! magazine, Winnipeg's bi-monthly jazz publication.
From Charlene Diehl
I began working on this book several years ago, then came back to it seriously over the past year. Early on, I wanted to find a way to tell the story of Chloe’s birth and death and the very hard work of those first years of adjusting to that experience. Over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that coming to terms with this kind of loss in a healthy way is a life project—I wanted to catch some of the threads of that process.
As a reader and writer, I looked to books for help and solace when I…
When people gather after a death, they find consolation in sharing memories and stories of the person who has died. When an infant dies, there are so few stories—and often only the parents and immediate caregivers know them. So the people who are most anguished have to share the stories in order to connect with and feel supported by others in their group. That being said, mourning is an intense process of adjusting to a new normal, no matter what has changed, so dealing with infant loss has a lot in common with any traumatic loss.