Abigail Carter at Camp Widow 2011
Author of The Alchemy of Loss, Abigail Carter takes a moment to talk to us about her book.
Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation held their annual Camp Widow West Event at the incredible Marriot Marquis and Marina and we got the chance to interview Abigail Carter a 9/11 widow who has written a wonderful book called “The Alchemy of Loss”
This is Abigail’s transformation story about her unintentional life, she hopes will help others deal with loss, grief, recovery and so many other issues you don’t realize are are issues until you are in the situation.
Grew up in Toronto where she met her husband Arron in 1986. She married in 1990 and then lived around the world – Brussels, London, Boston – before settling in Montclair, NJ. This is where her and Arron were happily raising their two kids, Olivia, 6 and Carter, 2 until one sunny September day, when Arron went off to work, later calling Abigail to tell her a bomb had gone off in The World Trade Center where he was attending a trade show. She never spoke with him again.
Thus at the ripe old age of 38, two years after that very fateful day, Abigail began writing down everything she could remember about the two years she had just lived through. In 2005, she moved herself and her two children to Seattle, WA in order to begin anew. She took a writing course and wrote some more and then by sheer happenstance wound up with her book, The Alchemy of Loss being published.
The Alchemy of Loss – A Young Widow’s Transformation
A must-read, June 4, 2008
A first-hand account of a Canadian woman with two young children coping with the death of her husband in the World Trade Centre destruction.
It starts with a typical day in a typical family with the author Abigail Carter preoccupied with getting one of her two young children ready to catch a school bus. The phone rings and it is her husband telling her he thinks a bomb may have gone off at the World Trade Centre. Still focused with getting her daughter to the bus in time, Ms. Carter dismisses the news as just another non-event in the big city and responds to her husband as such.
Rushing out of the door to get to the bus, she does not realize that she has heard her husband’s voice for the last time.
The book highlights the real pain and tragedy for thousands of ordinary individuals sometimes forgotten in the media coverage of national interests, formal memorial ceremonies etc.
Ms. Carter tells it as it is, without falling into the trap of sentimentalism or manipulation of emotions. The story, simply told, naturally tears at the reader’s heart. I did not have a dry eye for the first 50 pages. But, as is always true in such cases, the tragedy is mixed with times of laughter, humour and wit about the absurdities of everyday life.