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There is always a beginning to every story.

Mine started because of an ending.

In my early twenties, I was abruptly awakened in the middle of the night to the news of an accident. After two sleepless weeks of beige walls, cold hospital rooms, continuous monitor beeping, and ultimate incomprehension, I lost my beautiful mother.

What followed was a time of confusion and loss. A physical loss accompanied by a loss of self. I lost a part of my own identity when she was no longer in my life.

The grief became so consuming that I felt that I had to get away from everything that reminded me of her.

So, I began to travel. I went to cities that held no traces of memories. I hiked through forests and climbed mountains to clear my head.

It was through these experiences that I discovered that nature and travel could be healing. I felt calmer by the ocean and stronger next to the mountains. Running through forest trails sharpened my focus. The time spent en-route to a destination allowed time to reflect. New cities re-instilled a sense of wonder within me.

I began chronicling the process - the grief-stricken moments, the slow realizations, the transition from terrible days to okay days - and I eventually shared my writing publicly.

I lost a piece of me the day my mother died, but writing somehow connected me to her and a deeper part of myself. I felt that she would be proud of the writing and thus I continued to write, long after the first post was published.

I eventually transitioned to writing full-time because I believe in the potency of the written word and the emotional connections that can be created with them. The types of words that hold the power to reaffirm the feelings of others - whether it is heartache, grief, understanding, or joy.

Below, you will find the posts that started it all.

Why “Malinda in the snow” you may ask?

My mother loved snow, and after all, I am my mother’s daughter.

Iceland, grief

Hello Mom, it’s me, Malinda: A letter from Iceland.

Countless times I stop and think to myself,

"Can you see this? ... I hope that you can see this too".

I do not know what happens after you die.

how grief changed me

How grief changed me: a letter on Mother’s Day

Four years of Mother’s Days without a mother.

A reassurance that it is okay to be sad, for sadness is as much a part of our lives as laughter. And to have known great loss is to have known great love, too.

Why we need photographs

We know that when we are hurting, lost, or grieving, a drive towards material things is not what we need.  We need the memories of the summer spent in the ocean, the precariously built tree house, the cake and candles at our birthday party.  We need the place where we can still feel our loved ones' embrace or hear their laughter.  We need the photographs.