Dana Goodman’s memoir, “In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning” is a powerful, poignant, and utterly heart wrenching true story surrounding sickness, grief and the inevitable mourning process. Dana Goodman shares what it was like to walk through the death of her first husband to cancer, and later, the simultaneous diagnosis of her son, second husband, and mother-in-law. Her son and mother-in-law both died. Intertwined with the pain and sadness, Dana shares tales of adventure and physical endurance, and humour.
Watch the Chapter 10 Reading from the WILDsound Festival. Performed by KRISTA MORIN:
Interview with the writer Dana L. Goodman:
Matthew: Why should people read this novel?
Dana: Every one of us will experience losses and unwanted endings in life, and people need to have hope that life and love can immerge even after unthinkable pain. In the Cleft will help you
– Find renewal, meaning and purpose again after losing a loved one
– Enter into and understand the mourning process
– Support people who have suffered loss so you can be truly present to their intimate pain
– Understand how pain can increase your capacity to love and have deeper compassion
– Restore your dreams after unthinkable loss
Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?
Dana: Informally, I have been writing stories since I was a little girl. Writing has always been my way of processing my internal world.
Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Dana: What movie have you seen the most in your life? Letters To God, which was released in 2010, just after my son died. The parallels in the movie and in my own life at the time were uncanny. The movie was based on the true story of Tyler Doherty, an 8-year-old suffering from cancer. As he goes through his painful journey, he writes letters to God, and through his letters his community finds healing. I watched this movie over and over. The narrative helped release my own pain and inspired me to make our story count for something good.
Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?
Dana: What artists would you love to work with? My dream would be to work with Alex Kendrick, director of Facing the Giants or John Lee Hancock (director of Blindside) Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove (producers of Blindside)
Matthew: How many stories have you written?
Dana: In the Cleft is my first published work, but I write almost every day and have countless unpublished pieces of writing.
Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Dana: My dream is to share my story at a Women of Faith Conference. I want to be on tour speaking and bringing hope to peoples’ lives. We live in a society that expects us to get over heart pain quickly rather than lean into it and voice it. If I can authentically share my inner struggle it brings healing to other peoples’ broken places. I want to be the vessel God uses to bring healing and hope to others.
Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
Dana: I write better after I exercise. Usually I will go on a run and thoughts and themes start rolling around in my head. I write those thoughts down on my iphone as they come during my run. I then flesh out the ideas when I get home. I need to move or I get stuck.
Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Dana: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? I am passionate about my husband and son—I am truly a blessed woman. My work as a grief counsellor also brings me great joy, especially when I can help people reconcile their grief and find hope again.
Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Dana: Don’t give up. There were so many times while writing my novel I wanted to take the manuscript and throw it in the garbage can. Keep going because it will be worth it in the end. Just write and don’t worry about it making sense or being in order. Let if flow and go back and fill in the gaps later. Also, don’t necessarily try and write the chapters in order. Think of a theme or an idea, expand on it and then put the chapters in order later.
You can purchase the book on the following sites:
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WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings: