Medford author shares his story of grief and loss

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Maureen Callahan Smith

How do we move on when we lose the people we love the most?

Author and Medford therapist Maureen Callahan Smith addresses this question in her new book Grace Street: A Sister’s Memoirs of Grief and Gratitudewhich talks about his sister Kathy’s cancer diagnosis and their extremely difficult, complex and emotional journey through the treatment process.

Smith read an excerpt from her book at the Roasted Granola Café in Arlington on June 16. About 25 people attended, and Smith’s editor and editor, Patricia Crotty, introduced the author.

Smith read Grace Street’s foreword, talking about how death is an inevitable part of life and how, although “we are so afraid of death in our culture”, we are actually supposed to feel its impact and that “we have hearts made for [it.]She read in a confident, serene tone that captured the audience’s attention.

Smith then read excerpts from various chapters of his book. These included ‘Life in the IV Room’, ‘Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Bone Marrow Transplant’, ‘Bone Marrow Transplant Day’ and ‘Grace Street’. Smith quoted Kathy, expressing Kathy’s sense of humor and her impact on her friends and family: “It’s probably illegal to sneak in a beer, huh?” and “They have ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’ I know we’ve seen it, but let’s watch it again, there’s Hugh Grant.

Share emotions through his writing

Smith expressed feelings of sadness, stress and gratitude for the joyful moments she experienced throughout the process. Her unwavering attitude showed how strong she was in overcoming those stressful times and how she walked on without slowing down or losing faith.

As a therapist, she revealed her goals of helping people with her book, and she spoke with an inspiring optimism that suggested others had the strength to go through terrible grief and loss as well.

Reading these excerpts, Smith took everyone through his experiences learning about Kathy’s cancer diagnosis, the grueling treatments and complications they encountered, and his process of trying to move on afterwards. .

After reading, Smith opened up the questions and audience members connected with her to share experiences of losing loved ones and asking about maintaining hope and optimism during these times. She responded with thoughtful words about seeking and enjoying moments of joy wherever she could and spending time with family and close friends. Engaging with the audience encouraged a sense of shared warmth and kindness that Smith created with her confidence and emotional vulnerability.

Smith closed the reading with his poem “Wingaersheek”, on the beach in Gloucester. It included details of light, joy and love alongside vivid imagery of the ocean and shorelines, with a strong message about the importance of letting go and moving on. Smith had books available for sale that she could sign for anyone interested.

Grace Street: A Sister’s Memoir of Grief and Gratitude is available wherever you purchase your books. It’s also available as an e-book on Amazon and she’s also working on releasing an audiobook.


2020 to 2022: poems in red letters


This report by YourArlington intern Aidan Klingsberg was published Tuesday, July 5, 2022. The author’s mother, Patricia Crotty, published Smith’s book, and he also works as an assistant for the author and the publisher to help promote the book.


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