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.

So “MALINDA IN THE SNOW” you may ask?

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