Cloverdale writer makes a lasting connection

Johanne Fraser's story about a daughter dealing with her mother with Alzheimer's disease is featured in a new 'Chicken Soup' collection.

Cloverdale resident Johanne Fraser.

Another Cloverdale writer with an inspirational story has had success with a publishing juggernaut.

Johanne Fraser’s story, “Final Connection,” appears in Miraculous Messages From Heaven, a new installment of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

This edition has 101 stories of “eternal love, powerful connections and divine signs from beyond.”

As with other Chicken Soup books, each story in the collection is written by a different author. This edition has each writer sharing his or her own secular and religious experiences of connecting with the “other side”.

“Final Connection” is about a mother-daughter relationship in the context of what she calls a “mind-stealing” disease. It follows a daughter’s experience with her mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, and eventual death, and is based on Fraser’s own life and experiences.

“At the time of writing this story, I was mourning the loss of my mother and writing was a way of helping me to cope with the loss,” says Fraser, a happily married mother of two boys, aged 12 and 14.

She started writing, she says, as a way to cope with the complicated emotions and grief of losing her mother. Writing has now evolved into an important part of her life.

“At times, it is easier for me to write my thoughts than share,” says Fraser, who has a severe hearing impairment. “I also find writing a way of expressing my emotions and thoughts,” something that can be difficult to express verbally, at time, she says.

By day, she works as an office manager at Holy Cross Regional High School in Surrey.

A 10-year resident of Cloverdale, Fraser hasn’t had any other work published before.

“Writing has become a hobby,” she says. She writes short stories and keeps a blog. She plans to continue to submit stories to publishers.

Miraculous Messages from Heaven was released Oct. 15.

“I hope people will realize that death or Alzheimer’s is not the end – connections remain between souls even during a horrible disease and after death,” she says, describing what she hopes readers will take away from her story.

“I also hope to comfort anyone who is in the midst of watching a loved one waste away from Alzheimer’s.”

The book is available at Chapters and online at Chapters.Indigo.ca, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and soon, at the Cloverdale Library.

This isn’t the first time a Cloverdale writer has had success this year with the Chicken Book series.

Local mother of two Ritu Shannon has had two stories published in Chicken Soup books this year. Both were about being a parent. “Big Sister” was featured in Chicken Soup for Parents, and “Just One More Minute Mommy” was featured in the readers choice anniversary edition, The Chicken Soup for the Soul Stories that Changed Your Lives.

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