Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Born out of grief: My new children's book, Wolf Whispers

Grief can be surprising at times. Usually, if I am too sad over a loss or a national tragedy (as what happened after 9/11), I will be too shocked and saddened to write. Words won’t come easily to me; it’s the emotions related to the loss that take over. So I wasn’t expecting to write very much when, two years ago, I received the news that my mother had passed away. However, I found that it helped to write in a personal journal about the emotions and sadness I experienced during the first days following her death. With my family living far away and my husband doing his best to be there for me and the children as best he could, pouring my heart and soul out into this journal really helped me to cope with this loss.

But something else helped, too: Turning to my animal guide for comfort. My animal guide, a wolf, has helped me through many hard times in my life. And when I was faced with this major loss, as my mother and I had been very close, I recalled how turning to the wolf through meditation often helped me to feel a little better. Sometimes I was granted wisdom, sometimes strength. So this is what I did when working through my grief over losing my mother. I turned to the wolf for comfort, strength, guidance.

That was when the big surprise came. One day after I started this meditation process, I was inspired to write a story. A story about how a wolf helps a little girl whose mother died from an illness. I wrote this story exactly as it came to me in the meditative state and was surprised at how well it all came together. (Later, as I prepared the story for publication, I revised only the very first page.)

My new children’s book, Wolf Whispers, is the result of that experience. To make the book even more special, I asked my daughter, Jennifer, to illustrate this story. (After all, she’d lost her grandmother, and this story was tied to that loss.) The book has finally been self-published through CreateSpace and I’m very thrilled with how it turned out. I really think the writing I had been doing in my journal made it easier for me to write fiction while grieving. Writing that story brought me comfort and I hope it brings comfort to another grieving soul out there, too.

Wolf Whispers is my new children’s book illustrated by my daughter, Jennifer Wilson. It’s a story about how animals can help children who are struggling with the loss of a parent.


After her mother dies, 9-year-old Anya must travel to the woods to live with her father. But Anya is very sad and misses her mother. Then one evening, she receives a very special gift from a wolf. Can Anya learn to listen to the whispers of her heart and heal from her grief?

Available only in print.

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