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rmen Bacon is a wife, mother, grandmother, professional woman, author, and co-author with Nancy Miller of Griefland. For two decades, Armen has served as Administrator of Communications & Public Relations for the Fresno County Office of Education. She is also a regular contributor to The Fresno Bee and since 2006, has written/voiced a daily radio feature titled Live, Laugh, Love for KJWL 99.3. Armen Bacon holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Fresno and a master’s degree in organizational management. She is a four-year artisan alum from the CSU Summer Arts Program where she studied memoir, poetic prose, narrative non-fiction and flash fiction. She resides in Fresno, California with her husband, Dan, and draws inspiration from family, friends and her five grandchildren: Logan, Arden, Ani, and twins, Dennis and Sosi. Her collection of Fresno Bee columns is slated for publication soon, titled, My Name is Armen, A Life in Column Inches.
Contact her at: armen [at] griefland [dot] com
ancy Miller is a wife and mother, composition instructor and writer. She has mentored students at the university and junior college levels for more than 17 years, and served for more than six years as managing editor for The Business Journal and Pacific Publishing Group in Fresno. Working with troubled teenagers and their families, she has lead several support groups locally, and has assisted in staffing seminars for parents of at-risk teenagers. Nancy Miller received her master’s degree in English Literature from California State University, Fresno, and makes her debut in the powerful memoir, Griefland, co-authored with Armen Bacon. She has recently moved to Olympia, Washington with her husband, Randy, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Elsa, and is currently working on a second anthology of essays. She teaches English composition at South Puget Sound Community College.
Contact her at: nancy [at] griefland [dot] com
May 2013 Griefland named a finalist in the 2013 International Book Awards sponsored by USA Book News!
March 2013 Griefland highlighted on JMWW Quarterly Journal site!
“To write something so interior, and to write it to another person, and to do this over the course of months, is bravery.”
Read the full post here
October 23, 2012 Griefland guest post on Maria Shriver’s “A Woman’s Experience” blog!
“Writing a book together literally saved our lives. Our children, Alex and Rachel, had died of drug overdoses. We spent one entire year exchanging e-mails that became the genesis of our book, Griefland: An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss, and Unlikely Friendship. Together, we explored the acute moment-to-moment experience of grief while discovering the power of female friendship, trust, intimacy and love.”
Praise for Griefland
“…Armen D. Bacon and Nancy Miller have introduced me in their co-authored nonfiction book Griefland to the concept of unanticipated reminders of death in the lives of mourners…To write something so interior, and to write it to another person, and to do this over the course of months, is bravery…Both women come to learn there are no rules for grieving, which sends a message of hope in this book.”
Read JMWW’s Review of Griefland here
“Beautifully written and incredibly poignant, this is a must-read, must-have in anyone’s collection.”
Read The Full Moxie’s review of Griefland here
“Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller are two brave women who formed an astonishing friendship over the loss of their children. As writers, they accomplish what is rarely ever accomplished: they courageously write their way into the darkest of the dark nights and they refuse to blink. Their writing takes us deep into pain without apology. They are relentless in their prose, in their honesty. They do not look away from the heart of their losses and they refuse to soften the emotional depth of their stories. And, while living through such honest writing, they never ask for our sympathy and they never sentimentalize their pain. This is a gorgeous and rare conviction to truth, the hard, real truth of loss. Bacon and Miller have survived, continue to survive, and have rendered their journey in a poetic prose that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. From the most shattering of losses, they have given us a gift of hope.”
“It’s the tragedy no one wants to imagine: the death of our child. These moms had me from the first chapter. From the honesty of their raw pain to the ways they helped each other through words that spoke of memories, anger, comfort and eventual acceptance, I fell in love with the children they lost and the friendship they forged. You will learn, empathize, shed tears, share a laugh and, if you need it, find comfort from the beautiful words that helped these two authors heal themselves and each other. Full of insight, emotion, and unforgettable images that honor the process of parenting and the value of connection.”
“By exploring Griefland together, Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller remind us that the only way to traverse this terrain, so studded with landmines and bottomless chasms, is to hold someone’s hand. A journey through Griefland is not a welcome passage, but discovering that you don’t have to make it alone makes each step a little easier.”
“You will not forget having read this book. With maternal gentleness, Armen and Nancy guide the reader down a path that will be only too familiar to those who have been there, and a nightmare to those who haven’t. Facing a parent’s worst fear with courage and honesty, they present their experience with an openness and sincerity that is so completely vulnerable that it becomes sacred. You almost wish to ask their permission to be there.”
“Words versus silence. Sharing versus privacy. Life versus death. One cannot truly appreciate one without the other. In this touching and inspiring book, Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller, two insightful and articulate women, managed to find the words to express their grief process after experiencing the loss of a child. They have honestly shared their most private experiences, given words to the silence that often surrounds death, and found a renewed appreciation for the journey of life by walking together through Griefland. This book illustrates their hope that others experiencing such loss will know they are not alone.”
“I have waited all my life for this book. This beautiful, magnificent, sacred Mother work informs us about death in a way we are in dire need of. When my 19-year-old cousin died in a car wreck, the biggest shock was witnessing my aunt and uncle’s grief. Articulation of such tremendous loss is therapeutic for all of us. “For Alex, my boy who wanted to fly,” “for Rachel, the girl with the red corkscrew curls,” Griefland goes so deep I found myself trying to remember what I was doing on the days they died. Thank you Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller for giving us your children.”
“Griefland is so beautifully written, so accessible and courageous. I was immediately drawn in and fell in love with the narrators and their journey. This book will help so many.”
“Loss and grief are definitive in the human condition, and the loss of a child trumps all. In Griefland, Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller conjure an anatomy of loss, and the grim climb back to a livable life after it, even though those lives will be forever changed.”
“Losing a child is unthinkable, unfathomable. Armen and Nancy take the worst day of their lives and use it as a catalyst for change and transformation. Their heart-wrenching journey ultimately displays the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit.”