Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anne Marie Hagan's Website

I think about Anne Marie Hagan from time to time. I am thinking of her today. The first time I met her was under less than ideal circumstances though meeting her changed my life. My brother-in-law Brian was killed suddenly and tragically in a car crash near Air Port Heights and we were down from Mississauga for the funeral. As I sat stunned and angry in the kitchen at the funeral home a woman reached out, touched my hand and spoke the most comforting words.

That woman was Anne Marie Hagan, a relative of the Brian's girlfriend. She comforted me in my grief and then shared her own stunning story of tragedy and forgiveness. Her experiences moved me greatly. Shortly after we returned to Ontario we began planning our potential journey back home- for good. While many things have not turned out as planned, other things have turned out better than we could have ever imagined. Blair's family is near and dear and unyielding supportive, our son is doing amazingly well and has loved his Newfoundland outport life and we now have a new baby girl.

While none of these things can be solely contributed to Anne Marie, one thing can. The story of her and I was the very first piece I wrote for The Newfoundland Herald. That piece gave me the confidence to pen a few yarns for The Telegrams and before long I met Ryan Cleary and began writing for The Independent full time.

As I watch the first snow fall of the year out this way I can't help but think of Anne Marie and reflect on how her story not only helped me accept a loss, but gave me the confidence to learn and grow from that pain.

Thinking of you today.

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