Walking a path through tragedy to transformation

My new book, part memoir and half guidebook, tells the story of how I changed after experiencing pain and loss.

I have been on a profound journey across the barren landscape of loss since my beloved husband David Smith took his life 10 years ago. With that one devastating choice, he also took my life as I knew it.

I know that the ripple effects of his death were felt by many on the island.

It was, and is, difficult to reckon the David Smith whose life was committed to creating incredible beauty, like the Indonesian antique houses, gardens and ponds on our Vashon property, with the David who would create such chaos and trauma with his leaving.

The question for me, 10 years ago, was whether I would be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed.

On June 13, my new book, “You Make Your Path by Walking: A Transformational Field Guide Through Trauma and Loss,” will be published.

The book is part memoir, part guidebook and it tells the story of how I answered that question.

Perhaps not obviously, there is no one single, definitive path through trauma and loss. You make your path by courageously walking one step at a time. Where you end up has everything to do with how you journey through the shattering.

This book is my lived experience of learning to drink from a deeper well, see in a darker night, and allow the falling apart to reveal my wholeness. Although no one wants their life to fall apart, the times we are all living through definitely require us to let go of many things, whether we are ready or not.

While this is a story about my own past, it is also a guide for our collective present and a talisman of hope for our future. It was written to inspire us all to keep walking even when we are sure we cannot. This story of my own journey through loss and transformation offers readers the possibility of that inspiration and hope.

On the evening of June 13, I will be hosting a celebratory book launch in Seattle. Some of you may feel called to join me at this event. If so please send an email to suzanne@mysterialwoman.com and I will forward you information about the location.

You can pre-order my book through the Vashon Bookshop or on Amazon.

The beauty David created on our otherworldly Vashon property, which is now owned by Mike and Liz McDonnell, will be a part of this year’s Vashon Center for the Arts Garden Tour. To find out more about the tour, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.

Originally from Canada, Anderson now lives in Seattle. To learn more about her work, visit MysterialWoman.com.