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Ann Hutchinson

Clear, corked bottle with rolled paper inside, washed up on beach at sunset

Revisiting the Beginning of My Grief

Aside from the usual pastimes, I loved to tell stories and to dance. At seven or eight, I remember my tap and ballet teacher telling my mom she wanted to move me up a level. I don’t think anything, up to that point, had made me more proud. That’s before my life went sideways.

Man with v-neck collar kneeling by a toddler girl in a dress and tights in a stroller.

What Wasn’t Said

I knew Dad was dying since I was 8. It was the 70s and no one talked about it or asked how I was. But that’s when the mourning began.