Hello everyone!

For the first time ever, today’s post is coming to you via video! If you’re unable to watch, I’ve included an approximate transcription below. If you are watching via video, do scroll down to see a portrait of my dear friend Gene, and to sign up for something you won’t want to miss.

Also, I’m honored to have a guest post up at The Bold Life today!

Writer Tess Marshall’s mission is to “inspire you to follow your heart, unearth your bold, and create a meaning and love-filled life.” She’s created a lovely community at The Bold Life, which is no surprise considering her lovely way of writing + being. She’s been a wonderful encouragement to me, and I’m thrilled to be posting on her site.

Today’s guest post connects well with the video message. Find it at:

What We Have To Offer: The Strange Alchemy Of Love


Welcome to our first-ever video message! I’m Caroline McGraw, the writer here. And because you’re such an amazing group of readers, I’ve been wanting to connect with you in a more personal way. In that spirit, I’ve been adding personal photos to each post, & now, it’s time to add video!

I’m also recording this because there’s a lot going on here, and I want to make sure I provided a solid update as to what’s coming your way.

First, I wanted to let you know that I’m hard at work on my next book! It’s titled, “Love’s Subversive Stance: Ground Yourself + Grow In Relationship.” For those of you who filled out the survey a few months back, thank you! I really appreciate your input. As such, I’ve been working on the title and theme you chose.

The book will pick up where Your Creed Of Care left off, focusing on how you can stand firmly on the subversive soil of love, caring for someone ‘different’ and simultaneously experiencing personal growth.

In my own life, I’ve come to big changes not through 10-steps lists or how-tos, but through stories. So, this book won’t be a quick-fix solution. Instead, will be a telling of true stories…stories that allow you to become rooted in your relationships.

I’m currently working on the draft with an editor and a designer, and I should have a timeline for launch within the next few weeks.

A second update: I’m revamping my Your Life, Supported! service slightly, so that it focuses on caregivers in transition. I’d like to reach out to women who are in the process of facilitating a transition– if the person they care for is moving from school to the work world, or from one location to another– then they are under a lot of stress. They’re trying to balance work + life + planning for the person they care for…and it’s not easy. So many caregivers are dealing with these big decisions alone.

{Note: This service is no longer available.}


Now, because a post here wouldn’t be a post without a good story, I’d like to share one with you. It’s about Vincent, of course, because the last month has been all about saying goodbye to him.

One thing that most people fail to remember about this gentle man: he spent most of his adult life in an institution called Forest Haven. In other words, he spent most of his life in a cage. If the word ‘cage’ seems too strong, I will share with you that Gene’s job at Forest Haven was to be a pallbearer at funerals…and it wasn’t that he had a choice. Each week, he would carry the caskets of those who had died friendless and alone.

At Gene’s funeral, I wept at the loss of my friend, but I rejoiced at the thought of his freedom. He’d been imprisoned first by an institution, then, later, he’d been imprisoned again, by pulmonary disease and lung cancer. But on the day he died, he became free again.

As I watched his burial, I realized the beautiful justice of what I was witnessing: Gene’s body was being borne into the ground, yet all of his pallbearers were people who loved him. In the end, he was carried by those who had cared for him. Pall-bearing had been an act of forced labor for Gene, but it was transformed into an act of compassion by those who loved him.

And stories like that are why I wrote my book, why I do the work I do. They’re the motivation behind it all…the fact that, through the subversive stance of real love, even death can be transformed into celebration.

So, for an action step TODAY, I’d like to give you the opportunity to receive advance notice of the launch of my book, and be in-the-know for the pre-sale.

If you desire to ground yourself and grow in relationship, you’ll want to get on the advanced notification list for the new book I’ll be publishing (which will be offered at a 50% discount ONLY for those on the pre-sale list).

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  1. Rache August 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM - Reply

    I was a pall barer twice this year at family funerals. It does seem like such an act of love.
    It reminded me of another “act of love” practiced at Jewish funerals. There is a tradition of family members of the deceased tossing a little bit of dirt on the casket at the end of the service. It’s considered the greatest mitzvah (good deed) that someone can do for another, because it’s one of the only gifts in life you can give someone else, that he/she will never be able to repay to you.

    I am happy to hear that Gene is at peace and free.


    • Caroline McGraw August 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM - Reply

      Oh, Rach, I love it! I never knew the significance of that graveside gesture; now, I’ll treasure it.

  2. Rache August 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM - Reply

    PS: I dig the video message.

    • Caroline McGraw August 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM - Reply

      🙂 I’m glad! It’s so appropriate, considering all the times you’ve called me out of my shell + into new bravery!

  3. Brooke (Books Distilled) August 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM - Reply

    Such an honor to work on this lovely book with you, my dear. I had goosebumps reading the story about Gene that you shared. Many hugs!

    • Caroline McGraw August 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM - Reply

      BIG hugs right back! I can’t wait to see what the finished book will be like ~ with your help, I think it will be fabulous!

  4. Tam August 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM - Reply

    Way to have a brave day! You rocked it!
    And thank you for sharing Gene’s story. I still have tears.

    • Caroline McGraw August 29, 2011 at 3:44 PM - Reply

      🙂 Thank you Tams ~ who knows how many brave days you’ve helped to inspire…!
      Honored to have moved you.

  5. Donna August 29, 2011 at 4:26 PM - Reply

    Great story! So excited to hear about your next book!

    • Caroline McGraw August 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM - Reply

      Thank you Donna! 🙂 I’m excited to share it, + honored by the response thus far!

  6. sheila August 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM - Reply

    BEAUTIFUL! I’m over from Tess’s to say hello and say thank you for sharing Gene’s story. It’s so important for us never to forget anyone, and I’m sooooo happy that Gene found happiness and lived so long despite adversity. An inspiring man for sure!

    • Caroline McGraw August 30, 2011 at 4:43 PM - Reply

      You said it, Shelia! I’m so glad you’re here, and that Gene’s story inspired you.

  7. Tara Reynolds August 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM - Reply

    Bless Gene’s heart. I’m glad he was able to spend part of his life at L’Arche, surrounded by love and warmth. And I’m glad you have been able to share his inspiring story.

    Congratulations on your next book!

    • Caroline McGraw August 30, 2011 at 10:46 PM - Reply

      🙂 As am I, Tara.
      Can’t wait to share the next book with you!

  8. […] I rose to leave Leo’s room, I glimpsed an image of Gene. Leo had tucked Gene’s memorial card into the wallet he wears around his neck. And I thought […]

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