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Bill Valentine
(Writer)

w_s_v1@billvalentine.net
http://billvalentine.net/
Profile created April 19, 2006

In addition to his published fiction, Bill's stories have been published in Blithe House Quarterly, Lynx Eye, the Marlboro Review, South Dakota Review, and The Baltimore Review among others. He lives in New York City. -- from Saints & Sinners

  • A Season of Grief (2006)
    Chronicles the author's emotional descent after the violent death of his partner of 21 years. Bill Valentine's journal of fear, anger, denial, and loneliness captures the glimmers of hope, moments of serendipity, and mysterious coincidences that emerged from his full-time devotion to grief following the death of Joe Lopes, a flight attendant who perished in November 2001 along with 264 others when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed shortly after takeoff in route to the Dominican Republic. This unique book details the everyday struggles of a surviving partner trying to carry on in a radically changed world.

    He is a word always on my lips as I try to work him into a conversation. He is a memory that I strive to keep alive. So yes, in this sense, he is not gone. But in reality, he is. He is gone as my lover. He is gone as my life partner. He is gone as my soul mate, the only person to whom I periodically bared my soul. He is gone as my best friend, the only person to whom I ever attached that label. He is gone as my first reader and muse. Friends will fill in for many of these roles. But Joe filled them all. So pardon me while I still hang on to the notion that he is not here with me. Pardon me while I cling stubbornly to the insistence that he is gone.

    Valentine's candid and thoughtful account of his heartbreaking efforts to make sense of his partner's death—and survive in a world without him—is by turns, funny, frightening, sobering, and surprising. In the nine months following the tragedy of Flight 587, Valentine finds every waking moment of his life affected by his partner's absence—from mundane household chores to major life decisions. A Season of Grief is a story told in darkness and light, of hurt and healing, love and loneliness, but mostly, of a man who learns to live with his partner's absence through the persistent, surprising evidence of his presence.

    Our job on earth is to live with uncertainty, ambiguity, and hope. We are given a limited tool set but one, in my opinion, that's sufficient for the job. Sufficient to allow us to be engaged in life-to love, grieve, work, play, celebrate, and despair. We have a remarkable ability to rebound and grow. We have been granted the capacity for wonder and laughter-especially at ourselves. These last two gifts were bestowed generously on Joe and he, in turn, taught me how vital they are.

    Grief doesn't come with a set of instructions. But A Season of Grief can help guide you through the lonely journey that follows the death of a loved one. Valentine's memoir is a testament to the healing power of reality and the enduring nature of love.

  • City Birds: A Year in the Life of New York's Birds and Birders (Future release)

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