Morning Leaves : Reflections on Loss, Grief, and Connection
Morning Leaves : Reflections on Loss, Grief, and Connection

Morning Leaves : Reflections on Loss, Grief, and Connection

By Laing F. Rikkers

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Steeped in beautiful art and verse that invites reflection, Morning Leaves is the perfect gift book or self-purchase for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

In the wake of the untimely death of the author's younger sister and isolated by the pandemic, Rikkers produced Morning Leaves, a book of vulnerable, evocative, and ultimately hopeful poems. She introduces her story and explains how counseling, the artistic process, and nature helped her through the healing process. Her poems, paired with Kelly Leahy Radding's stunningly realistic botanical paintings, metaphorically describe the range of emotions she passes through while grieving. Rikkers seizes the opportunity to be attentive to who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be, leaving space for the reader to do the same. Her writing is soulful, open, and accessible and the artwork is exquisite. Ultimately, readers are invited to reflect on themselves as they address the grief and loss they have experienced in their own lives.


“The poems within Morning Leaves are tender, compassionate and full of wonder. Laing's writing and Kelly's illustrations are conduits for healing and hope.”

–Kristin A. Meekhof, co-author of A Widow's Guide to Healing

“Laing Rikkers’ first book is a wonderful example of the ways in which communion with the natural world can calm, restore and heal. Dedicated to her late sister Ginna, it makes a meaningful argument for the power of quiet observation in the midst of chaos, and an appreciation for the beauty and wisdom which is all around.” –Anna Holmes, award-winning writer and editor at publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker, and founder of the site Jezebel

“So beautifully written and thoughtfully constructed. Visceral. Visual. Vulnerable. The passages cracked open my heart.” –Amy K. Hutchens, award-winning speaker and bestselling author of Get It and The Secrets Leaders Keep

"Through Morning Leaves, Laing has found an elegant, beautiful way to deal with her loss. Poetry is so helpful here, isn’t it. The book is quite beautiful to look at as well." –Nils Peterson, first Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County and author of The Comedy of Desire


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