Suicide is the word no one mentions. As though suicide were a disease, we avoid being around those impacted by it.
Jean Ann Williams experienced the loss of her son by suicide.
We can listen and learn. But listen closely, because the word suicide is whispered.
Jean, on your blogsite there is a picture of a chicken yard. Would you tell High Cotton readers about yourself and locale?
I was born in 1953 and given the name Jeannie Ann Martinho. I lived on a farm until I was eight, when my parents moved to southern Oregon. I moved many times to other states over the years, but now I’m back in my home state of Oregon with my husband. I’ve been married for 45 years and live on an acre of land with two goats, chickens, and one dog. (I’ve had as many as six goats!) We drink the goat milk, and I make cheese, yogurt, and kefir. I have ongoing illnesses, and the products I make from goat’s milk help me heal.
You have a blogged book on suicide.
Explain the term “blogged book” and the importance of this subject to you.
I got the idea of a blogged book from author Nina Amir, who wrote, How To Blog A Book. She gives thorough steps as to how to create a blogged book, and build your platform. When an agent took an interest in my blogged book of devotions, God’s Mercies After Suicide: Blessings Woven Through A Mother’s Heart, he said it was too early to shop it as a book—I needed to build my platform. Since blogging chapters of my unpublished book, my blog traffic has grown.
Another reason I decided to blog is that people were waiting for my next installment to come out!
You have a knack for putting everyday moments into a devotional.
Tell us about that.
Years ago, I read an article on writing devotions. The article warned that devotions are hard to write, and not just anyone can do it. I took that to mean not for me. Later, I had an opportunity to write for an anthology, and the subject was something I knew about, so I jumped at the chance. My article was accepted, and my life as a devotional writer began.
There are almost a dozen books now.
What has been your writing path, and who helped you?
My writing path began almost twenty-one years ago has been a very slow one. I began writing only for children. At first I had little money to go to conferences, but I read numerous how-to-write books.
Workshops and critique groups have been a big encouragement. They helped me grow as a writer.
My greatest cheerleader, though, was my mother-in-law, Wanda Williams. She’s passed on but always wanted to read anything I wrote. She called it “good.”
What one thing would you like to tell High Cotton visitors about Jean Ann Williams?
Eleven years ago when my son, Joshua, died at age 25 by suicide, I thought my life was over. I suffered long and hard, questioning why my son would do this horrific thing. Through the loss of Joshua, I’ve grown so much closer to my Lord and Savior. Were it not for Him, I would not have made it.
He loved me through the most terrifying time of my life. I sensed His presence on more than one occasion during the early grief years.
Need Help? National Hopeline 1.800.784.2433
Grief Sites listed on Jean’s blog: