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Communications coach and emerging author Marla Polk suffered the sudden loss of her beloved spouse, Randy Polk, seven years ago.
“The night he died, I wrote my first personal story notifying everyone via Facebook,” Polk said. “Hundreds of caring comments came back, all with heartfelt condolences. Some people reminded me of stories about Randy, and some assured me they would pray for my family and me. I had no way of knowing that I would later read and reread those comments as a tool to help me take my next breath.”
After falling into a deep pit of despair and battling many dark demons, Polk finally clawed her way back out again, with a new determination to live. In her new memoir, “Grief Survivor, A Love Story,” Polk shares a raw and honest look at what it’s like to lose someone you love and rebuild your life amid the devastation.
“After a few days, I started keeping a journal, not with any plan in mind, only because it helped me process me grief,” Polk said. “When I couldn’t breathe, talk or stop crying, I could still write, and although it didn’t exactly help, it helped me get to the next moment, which promised to be better because it couldn’t get much worse.”
At its core, Polk’s memoir is a love story that offers an authentic take on grief and delves into the unexpected ways grief can present itself in our lives. Within its pages, Polk takes readers through the first fifteen months of her new life as a young widow. She shares personal stories, unique challenges and powerful insights to help those who are struggling to stand beneath the crushing weight of losing a loved one.
“Eventually, I started writing stories about Randy for my kids to read and comfort them and me,” Polk said. “I longed to give people reminders about Randy because I was not ready to quit talking about him. As I wrote more stories, the number of people telling me that I should write a book continued to grow. What I didn’t anticipate was my Facebook followers telling me that the stories helped them too. I loved quoting Randy and reminding people how amazing he was.”
A balanced blend of personal narrative, dark humor and perceptive commentary, this book provides practical guidance for navigating deep grief and personal loss. With poignant and thoughtfully written anecdotes, it also invites readers to reevaluate common expectations of grief in Western society. Within her memoir, Polk reminds readers that grief is messy and there’s no set timeframe for healing.
“It took me six years to be emotionally ready to share a part of my story,” Polk said. “It took me another year to complete the task. Writing my first book was hard work, and it took a toll emotionally, but it also brough tremendous healing.”
An eBook copy of “Grief Survivor, A Love Story” is currently available for preorder on Amazon. A paperback edition will be available for purchase on Amazon starting Nov. 15.
“I hope that you will laugh, and cry, and remember Randy,” Polk said. “He has many family and friends that still live in Post, but for those of you who didn’t get the pleasure of knowing Randy, I hope you enjoy this introduction. If this memoir eases even one person’s pain even for a moment, then I have done what I set out to do. Remember to love now because now is all we are promised.”
Polk is a communications coach specializing in helping those in broken relationships heal through communication tools she developed as a mediator. She is Managing Partner for Resolution Solutions, a conflict resolution consulting company. She is the President of the Board of Directors for a nonprofit, the Abilene Palm House, which mentors at-risk individuals and works specifically with women who are survivors of violent crimes. She is available for media interviews, and more information is available on her website www.marlakanepolk.com, Marla Kane Polk Author Facebook page, or on Instagram at @marlapolk.author.