WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 187 of 227

Actually I remember driving with my husband and saying, "Everybody keeps telling me stories about how so-and-so lost a child, AND THEY WERE NEVER THE SAME." The "and they were never the same" was so heavily weighted it was like a death sentence. The best I thought I could hope for is living some attenuated form of the life we'd had before, and that seemed like such a horrible endpoint for all that suffering we were going through. So we were talking about this in the car, and I said, "What am I going to say to these people who say they were never the same?" And he said, "Just say, 'You're right, I'm going to be better'." And that planted the first seed inside of me. Aside from its spectacular critical reception — glowing reviews from The Chicago Tribune and Worth magazine, and making The Boston Globe nonfiction bestseller list — what has the public response been to your book? I've been surprised by how well received the book has been. I thought people would challenge me more on my belief system, because going to a medium to seek comfort is a very fringey thing to a lot of people, and I've been overwhelmed by how supportive people have been. I always felt that while this book had a natural audience in bereave- ment, it had a wider audience in anyone who struggled in any hardship in their life. My sister has always referred to Charlotte's death as my Chirotic moment, essentially a turning point. Mine was losing a child, yours could be something different. But it's what you do in that moment, and this book which starts with the decision to live, and how to do that. Have you found it difficult to be on tour, talking constantly about Charlotte? A month before the book came out, I was really struggling. I thought, how am I ever going to read without weeping? There was a lot of anticipatory anxiety. It's been a good challenge for me because I don't do public vulnerability very well, and I've had to do that. I get choked up and my voice catches, and one has to learn to be okay with it. But has it been hard to talk about? No. I live with this every day. I think about her all the time. I talk about her all the time. I carry her with me in my heart. I have conversations with her all the time — they're one-sided, by the way, I'm not that crazy — so it's not that unusual aside from the fact that I'm speaking to a large group. And it feels like such a beautiful legacy for her. THE ANGEL IN MY POCKET: A STORY OF LOVE, LOSS, AND LIFE AFTER DEATH (Viking, 2014) is available at Wellesley Books. 186 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 NICHOLE BERNIER is the author of the novel The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. (Crown/Random House, 2012) and a 14-year contributor to Condé Nast Traveler magazine. She lives in Wellesley with her husband and five children. C O U R T E S Y O F V I K I N G / P H O T O B Y E R I C L E V I N books "a beautiful legacy for her"

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