EPISODE 87: “Were You Close”? with Anne Pinkerton

Welcome to LEAP where we sit down with people from all over the world to hear their transformational stories and perspectives on their grief and loss journeys. 

In this episode, Anne Pinkerton and I will be discussing the emotional journey of Anne in her book, “Were You Close?: a sister’s quest to know the brother she lost”. Anne lost her brother Dave to a tragic climbing accident in 2008, which led her to experience a heavy grieving process. In this episode, Anne takes us through the challenges she faced during this time, including the lack of grief resources for siblings and not knowing the exact details of her brother’s passing.

Anne Pinkerton is a poet, essayist, and memoirist. Her writing often focuses on making sense of challenging life experiences; significant themes are loss, illness, and coping. She has been published in Hippocampus Magazine, The Bark, Ars Medica, Modern Loss, River Teeth’s “Beautiful Things,” the anthology The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink, and elsewhere. 

Her first book, Were You Close? a sister’s quest to know the brother she lost, is being published by Vine Leaves Press in April of 2023. Pinkerton lives in western Massachusetts where she works as a marketing communications professional.

Anne shares with us the meaning behind the title of her book, “Were We Close?” and the significance of handling her brother’s ashes. We also learn about the bond her brother shared with the Colorado Fourteeners and his love for extreme sports.

Anne also delves into her relationship with her surviving sibling and the complexities of writing her book while trying to honor everyone in her family. She shares her experience of writing her book and the time it took her to finish it.

In this episode, we also discuss the importance of self-love, and Anne shares with us what it means to her. We end the episode on a positive note with Anne’s definition of hope.

Tune in to this episode as Anne takes us through her emotional journey and the lessons she learned along the way.

**TRIGGER WARNING** This episode covers sensitive subject matter and is not suitable for all listeners. If this topic could be a trigger for you, listen to this episode with a friend, a sibling, a loved one or a parent so you can talk about any emotions that come up for you. The contents of this episode are not intended to replace therapy and should not be taken as such. If you need immediate help, please call the crisis hotline listed below in our resources.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [1:05] Losing her brother Dave to a climbing accident in 2008
  • [6:50] The lack of sibling grief resources back then
  • [10:00] The heavy grief that comes with not knowing how exactly he passed
  • [13:35] Why did she name her book Were You Close?
  • [20:05] Handling her brother’s ashes
  • [22:45] The Colorado Fourteeners and the bond they had with her brother
  • [27:10] Understanding her brother’s extreme sports
  • [33:30] The relationship with her surviving sibling
  • [41:40] What the writing experience was like for Anne as she was trying to honor everyone in her family
  • [47:25] How long it took her to write this book
  • [49:45] What self-love looks like for Anne
  • [50:20] Hope is…

Grief Hotline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Anne here:

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