Louise and I first met when we both worked at the Vernon Family Resource Center. She worked with the mental health referrals and I was in charge of the Community Lay Counselling Program. We immediately became fast friends. Even though we are very different in some ways, we also tend to see people and the world around us in similar ways. You know these kinds of friends. These are the kindred spirits. The ones you only have to make eye contact with and a multitude of things are communicated without having to say a word. No explanations are needed. You just get each other. it is like you have come home.

We quickly discovered we lived right around the corner from each other in a rural community just outside of Vernon. She and her partner had a large property and had many animals including a horse, cat, and rabbits. When they would go away for holidays they would ask our three young sons to take care of the animals, which our little boys just loved doing. So our lives began to shift into the personal arena as well as the professional. And these two threads have fostered our friendship over many years, despite both of us shifting to new jobs and moving to different communities.

After a time, I left the Resource Center and returned to counseling within the school setting and we did not see each other as frequently. Then Louise also joined the school district staff and became a School District Counselor. In her role, she supported five high schools by providing counseling to the students who had serious mental health issues such as suicide ideation, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety. We were thrilled to be working alongside one another once again. The district asked us to both participate in the District Emergency Response Team. This Team went into school district schools, whenever they needed outside counsel on how to process issues such as violent episodes or the death of a student or staff member. We also worked collaboratively to develop a variety of curriculum for the district and offer professional development sessions for the teachers and administrators. Working with Louise was seamless. Even though we each brought different skill sets to the table, they complimented each other and enabled us to create and produce innovative work. And even though the work was challenging, we easily found laughter and joy as we worked together.

When my husband’s job took us to another community, and Louise and her partner moved to the east coast, we were only occasionally in touch. But when I was writing my book, which focuses on loss and grief – how we process our own grief and offer consolation to others – I instantly thought of Louise. I knew that her counsel and participation in the book would be invaluable. So very early on in the writing process, I contacted Louise, and we once again linked up. We instantly picked up where we had left off. Louise generously agreed to read the manuscript, offer feedback, make edits, and talk through my ideas. She encouraged me to find, and trust my voice. To have confidence in my experience and intuition. Louise’s involvement, participation, and encouragement significantly contributed to the process of writing the book and to its publication.

In one of our recent conversations, I asked Louise if she would be interested in co-facilitating an on-line book study of my book in the fall. I am grateful that she has agreed. We are eagerly anticipating working together once again, as we lead the study.

I am so thankful for kindred spirits; for soul friends like Louise.

If you are interested in the book, it is due to be released June, 23rd on Amazon. And if you are interested in participating in the book study – please email me at anne@annemackiemorelli.com or private message me through Twitter, @EAnneMorelli or through Facebook @AnneMackieMorelliwriter

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