Frances Figart, editor of The Laurel of Asheville, has published a collection of essays that is now available through Amazon and select booksellers. The 92-page illustrated paperback, titled Seasons of Letting Go: Most of what I know about truly living I learned by helping someone die, chronicles a powerful time of crisis, transition and resilience.
In 2010, Figart (pronounced Fie-gert) was running kayak ecotours in Costa Rica and Canada’s Bay of Fundy, swept up in an international travel adventure. Back in the States, her mother was becoming weakened by the combination of a leaky heart valve and a chest wall damaged years before by a mastectomy and cobalt radiation.
“I made the decision to return and care for my mom in my old hometown of Winchester, Kentucky,” says Figart. “So I wouldn’t lose touch with my writing, I started a blog about my experience as a caregiver.”
Beginning just before her mother died and stretching over the last four years, the essays follow Figart’s transition to Asheville and share wisdom gained through caregiving and embracing grief in a healthy way. “Last year, I realized I had written my best essays during this time. It hit me: Why not publish them as a book to honor my mother’s life and help others dealing with loss?”
With inspirational quotes, song lyrics and literary references sprinkled throughout, the book is not only a personal account of loss and grief, but also a universal meditation on hope, spirituality and self-actualization. The essays are accompanied by stunning nature photography, colorful illustrations and graphic design elements that take the reader on an introspective journey of healing.
“If you or someone you know has experienced a loss or change in life, then this book will touch your heart,” says reviewer Leslie Donovan on Amazon. “The beautiful photography and illustrations add to the story of adventure, loss, change and renewal. As a Hospice nurse, I will recommend this book to my patients and families.”
UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS
Friday, January 27, at Metro Wines, Asheville, 5–6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 25, at Gingko Tree Gallery, Black Mountain, 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Part of the proceeds from sales at these events will be earmarked for a Gatlinburg family who lost their home and pets in the November fires.
Seasons of Letting Go: Most of what I know about truly living I learned by helping someone die, autobiographical essays, 2016, softcover, $19.95, amazon.com, by Frances Figart. Learn more at francesfigart.com.