Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Local author self-publishes personal grief journals


Joanne Fink

Filled with expressive, hand-lettered sentiments and charming original illustrations, "When You Lose Someone You Love" features excerpts of observations and feelings originally contained in Longwood artist/author Joanne Fink's personal grief journals. Started as a way of dealing with her own deep loss when she lost her husband of 29 years, Andy Trattner, unexpectedly in 2011, the book offers the gift of comfort to those grieving without sugar-coating the challenges of losing a loved one.

"At some point in our lives, most of us will experience the loss of someone we love, and will need to deal with that loss in order to move on with our life's journey," notes the author. "I hope 'When You Lose Someone You Love' will help people do that."

A small (3.5" x 5.5"), 112-page volume, the book fits comfortably in a hand, can be carried easily in a pocketbook, or kept on a nightstand. The size of the book is one of the reasons that the well-known author and artist decided to self-publish it. "I've actually had offers from several publishers, but they all wanted to change the book in some way. Since I feel those changes would weaken its ability to help people who are grieving, I decided to self-publish instead."

A world-renowned calligrapher, designer, teacher and inspirational speaker, Fink used her experience writing and designing greeting cards to fill the book with powerful yet easily understood "universal truths"-observations and feelings which can resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one. "I want to publish this book to reach out to others going through the grieving process because I know first-hand how devastating it can be to lose someone you love. Connecting with those who were further along on their grief journey made a difference to me... and I'd like to help make a difference for others. It helps to know that you are not alone, that there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, nights when you can't sleep, and times when waves of sadness wash over you unexpectedly."

The author credits the help she received by reaching out to other widows. "I was blessed to connect with Carolyn Moor, founder of the Modern Widows Club (www.modernwidowsclub.com), and to be mentored by those who are further along on their grief journey than I am. The Modern Widows Club (MWC) is an amazing organization that has made a difference in many lives. By self-publishing 'When You Lose Someone You Love,' I'll be able to donate a portion of the book sales to MWC. It's a way that I can give back to some of the people who have guided me along in my grief process."

An active member of the Congregation of Reform Judaism, Joanne has a long history of community service. She was the founding president of the International Association of the Calligraphic Arts, one of the six founding board members of the American Guild of Judaic Art, and chaired Jewish Arts Week in Orlando for several years. A graduate of the Bornstein Young Leadership Program, Fink was the 2006 recipient of the Federation's Byron B. Selber Young Leadership Award. She has served on the boards of the Jewish Community Center, the Holocaust Center of Central Florida, the Greeting Card Association, and chaired the Craft & Hobby Association's License & Design Section. Her company, Lakeside Design, regularly contributes design services to many local Jewish agencies and synagogues.

Preview of her self-published book.

Joanne's husband Andy Trattner was also heavily involved in the Jewish community. He was on the boards of ARZA (American Reform Zionist Organization), the Union for Reform Judaism's SouthEast Leadership Council, and was an active member of Orlando's Sister City program, which enabled him to visit Israel often. Their children, Samantha and Jonathan Trattner, are graduates of The Hebrew Day School (now called The Jewish Academy of Orlando). Jonathan, a 10th grade student at Lyman High School, has spent the past five summers at camp Ramah Darom. Samantha, a graduate of Seminole High, currently attends USF where she is studying to become a speech pathologist. A Kutz Camp alum, Samantha, talented singer/songwriter, spent the past two summers working as the music director at the Roth JCC summer camp.

For additional information on the author/artist's other books, products and services, visit http://www.zenspirations.com or contact Joanne by phone at 407-960-3960 or by email at joanne@zenspirations.com.


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