Author Maureen Callahan Smith.
Boston area psychotherapist Maureen Callahan Smith, whose recent book Grace Street: A Sister’s Memoir of Grief and Gratitude (Gray Dove Press) traces her journey accompanying her sister Kathy through her late-stage cancer diagnosis and treatment, grew up among the beautiful Northern Berkshire mountains of Western Massachusetts. She was deeply formed by her roots in this close-knit area, surrounded by her extended family.
An avid reader all her life, Maureen credits her mom, her grade school nuns, and the local children’s librarians for fostering her love of books. She has always had a strong interest in how people survive hardship. As early as 6th grade, she recalls Marie Killea’s book Karen, the chronicle of raising a spirited daughter born with cerebral palsy, arriving with her Scholastic book order, and leaving a lasting impression on her.
Her interest in resiliency also formed the basis for her lifelong practice of working out what she is thinking, feeling, and learning in handwritten journals. She considers her writing “godmothers” to be the poet May Sarton, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Mary Oliver, Julia Cameron, Annie Lamott, Rachel Naomi Remen, and Elisabeth Berg.
Her own history with perinatal loss and cancer only deepened her interest in helping others survive traumatic experiences, and she continues to draw on decades of experience with various meditation and yoga teachers, including study in India. In 1995, she joined the co-operative artist community of Turtle Studios, which helped join her spiritual practices and her professional social work with writing and artmaking. Working with numerous writing mentors and with her long-term writing group, she was able to complete her memoir Grace Street: A Sister’s Memoir of Grief & Gratitude (Gray Dove Press). She was awarded the Second Career Author Award at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and as of late autumn 2021, Grace Street reached the rank of 7/100 in best new releases on Grief and Loss.
She continues to practice as a therapist on Boston’s North Shore, and balances her work with continued engagement in creative writing and artmaking. She also takes much joy these days spending time with the growing pod of little ones cropping up, to her delight, in her extended family. She lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband, Tony.
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Grace Street: A Sister’s Memoir of Grief & Gratitude
Published by Gray Dove Press