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Writing women's history one mother at a time... since 2004.

Gone Too Soon


The latest anthology from Mothership Stories. This unique combination of biographical material and memoir content is a much needed resource in the loss, grief, and bereavement fields.

My Mother’s Story: Gone Too Soon has been created, lovingly nurtured, and edited by Michelle Hohn, Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (with executive editing by Marilyn Norry, MMS Founder). 

Discover the powerful connection between storytelling and healing.

Gone Too Soon is a courageous collection written using the My Mother’s Story template by adults who experienced the loss of their mother in childhood or adolescence. It offers the rich, lived experiences of 20 mothers and their 20 bereaved children-18 women and 2 men-residing in four nations (Canada, the USA, the UK, and South Korea). Even though their paths are unique, these anthology contributors traverse difficult emotional terrain together to more definitively answer the question “Who was my mother?” Collectively they transform the narrative from feeling a mother’s absence to finding her presence.

Both heartbreaking and hopeful, these stories are about far more than grief and loss. As well as contributing to the history of women, they present readers with a vibrant array of experiences revealing how ordinary women have actually lived – their values, choices, fulfillment, and opportunities, as well as their challenges, moments of quiet desperation, and defeats along the way.

If you are drawn to this book:

  • you may have personally experienced mother loss (perhaps at a young age) and may be feeling alone in your grief;
  • your mother is perhaps still living, but you have felt other losses and wish to understand more about the direct experience of others;
  • you may be seeking resources to support someone you know in their loss and grief;
  • you may be familiar with other My Mother’s Story anthologies or online archive and are keen to read the next set of extraordinary stories about ordinary women.

Guided by the tradition of the My Mother’s Story writing recipe and informed by expressive writing insights, Gone Too Soon combines the power of storytelling with healing, and demonstrates how this specific technique can be harnessed to lead to an increased sense of belonging, connection, and resilience for adults bereaved in childhood. Asking questions surrounding life’s challenges facilitates understanding which brings meaning and contributes to individual journey of self discovery and healing.


In addition to the consistent anthology theme of early mother loss, this book contains a range of life experiences and specific topics that some readers may find difficult, including: substance use/abuse and death by overdose, domestic violence, mental illness, sudden or unexpected death, terminal illness, fatal accidents, self-harm, death by suicide, and wartime brutality.


PREFACE by Michelle Hohn MA, RTC

FOREWORD by Marilyn Norry BFA

INTRODUCTION by Michelle Hohn and Mandy Gosling MA, Dip. Psych

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Linda Higgins, Susan Teresa Bocchinfuso, Tamara Mercer, Susan Henderson Frank, Colleen Winton, Jin Beom Synn, Kathryn Lannan, Sydell Weiner, Christine Norris, Jennifer Juniper Angeli, Janyne Sinclaire, James Edgington, Soma Keo, Kelsey Weaver, Mandy Gosling, Colleen Rhodes, Jennifer Burgie, Shenan Smith, Amanda McNally, and Michelle Hohn.

These authors have beautifully captured the essence of their mothers. What an honour to read these ‘love poems’ to the moms of left-behind adult children – they are precious pieces of writing. Even more poignantly, it is clear in the author reflections that they have moved through a searching and grappling process to face the trauma of losing a mother so young, and through what otherwise could have remained frozen grief. Already a strong believer in the power of narrative and journal therapy, I will be recommending My Mother’s Story: Gone Too Soon to the bereaved that I work with. These are unique resources that will inevitably encourage meaning-making and healing through grief.

The stories in this book offer moving memories and reflections on the lives of mothers, seen not only from a child’s perspective but from the eyes of an adult who has been living without their mother since childhood. These narratives give a captivating insight into the many layers of the mothers; as a parent, a child themselves and a young adult and the new connections that the authors often find through the process of writing about them. It reminds us of the power of a loss and how even after many years, memories and stories are an important aspect of remembering and grieving.

These poignant stories of mothers gone too soon infuse childhood loss with a poetic transcendence, each sensitively layering a portrait of a young woman through the eyes of her child. Of particular note are the author reflections that follow each story, bringing adult perspectives and wisdom to the indelible experience of early mother loss. For the bereaved of all ages who have wanted to write their own story, this book provides an accessible structure.”

With this beautifully written and informative anthology, the authors of My Mother’s Story: Gone Too Soon are offering mental health professionals, educators, families and the public at large—an international audience—the opportunity to learn and understand the impact of parental loss on children from adults who were bereaved as children. By sharing their stories and insights, the authors shine a light on common myths about children’s grief and mourning and also strategies that foster resilience. They have also informed us of how it impacted their lives into adulthood and continues to impact their lives today. As the CEO of Alex Cares Inc., I steward our belief in the power of young people to explore and understand their story in the face of loss. This exploration creates a meaningful canvas for youth to find the tools and resources, that help them realize that their loss is not their whole story, but a key piece to what and who they will become. My Mother’s Story: Gone Too Soon is an inspiring and thoughtful anthology filled with compassion and wisdom. While the collection focuses on the loss of a mother in childhood, I firmly believe that the insights offered by the authors are applicable to the experience of loss and grief for anyone at any age and offers a healing tool for all of us.

If you are experiencing grief or are triggered by any of these stories or reflections please do not suffer alone. There is help; there is hope. Some of us are professionals who know what you’re going through. Or if you would like more information on this project, you are welcome to contact:

North America:

Michelle Hohn   MA RTC
Registered Therapeutic Counsellor
250.240.0120 |

United Kingdom: 

Mandy Gosling M.A., Dip. Psych.
Counselling & Psychotherapy
07951 727061   or .

Discover the powerful connection between storytelling and healing.


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