Monday, October 17, 2022

Voices of Experience: Lettering Loss: The Abiding Nature of A Mother's Love

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.  ~ Madeleine L'Engle

Sisters Jalyn Scott and Allison Scott Westman have been longing to create a resource for those who have experienced similar circumstances as theirs, and to educate others on the topic of grief and loss, as they continue to navigate the loss of their own mother back in 2013, when the two were only teenagers. On a trip to see their grandmother, they were met with an idea to fulfill this longing, and began writing and illustrating Love, Mom immediately.

This would be a children’s book, in order to be digestible for all ages, that would be a compilation of hypothetical letters from a mother to a little boy. These letters serve as encouragement and validation to specific scenarios and concepts of grief that the little boy struggles with in her absence. They submitted their rough draft manuscript to Mascot Books, who ended up wanting to publish Love, Mom, and illustrations were finalized in the meantime. 

We all have ways we like to feel connected to loved ones we’ve lost. Sometimes that’s through writing a letter, visiting a graveside, or taking a drive while listening to their favorite song. Talking can be difficult at times, especially when the only one you want to talk to is no longer with you. Lean into your hard days. Sitting in your grief and allowing yourself to feel sad for a day does not make you weak. Often, that is the only way we feel close to those we’ve lost, and that’s perfectly okay.

© 2022 by Jalyn Scott
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About the authors: Jalyn Scott and Allison Scott Westman are sisters from Abilene, TX. They are both graduates of Abilene Christian University. Jalyn graduated with a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders and is working on her Master’s in speech-language pathology. Allison graduated with a B.A. in biology and a minor in art, and works as a ministry assistant to youth and family at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church. She also owns her own wedding planning/coordinating business called Wedded By Westman. Jalyn and Allison seek to draw awareness to the topic of childhood grief and loss, as well as validate and affirm the feelings that pertain to losing a parent or loved one. The sisters hope their book, Love, Mom can support and encourage children, or even adults, as they navigate circumstances that are challenging while grieving the loss of someone deeply loved. 

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