From the ashes of tragedy rises the opportunity of growth, though it is not without substantial hard work and effort.
When she was 23-years-old, Halifax author Anne Berube was in a near-fatal car accident. Trapped and unable to breathe, she had a moment of clarity that lead to her writing her memoir, Be Feel Think Do, for which she will have a book signing and reading at Nature’s Fare Markets Wednesday at 3 p.m.
“On impact, my liver lacerated and my lungs collapsed,” Berube said. “In that moment, I lost consciousness and had a mystical experience. I saw my life — the one I was supposed to live, not the one I was living. I was very aware that I was going down the wrong path. To me, the car accident was a wake-up call to get back on path and with a meaningful life.”
Despite her life-changing near-death experience, the following years were marred by chronic pain and emotional turmoil.
“I couldn’t really share that (near-death) experience with the people around me,” Berube said.
But through self-analysis, Berube was able to cope with her injuries and learned to listen to her internal voice.
“The book is about bridging this reality,” Berube said. “It’s about stopping that business of doing and thinking, and coming back home to stillness and silence — more textured and meaningful.”
And it’s all done with the intent to help anyone facing an internal struggle.
“The feedback I’m getting is that people can relate,” Berube said. “To me, that was the point. To say that things we keep to ourselves, the shame and guilt, by sharing it can help.”
Berube began writing the book shortly after her accident and finished writing two years ago.
“I always knew I had a book in me,” Berube said. “Once I started to do really deep, self work, I felt strongly that I had to share this work. It’s a very real book — it’s the messiness of finding yourself.”
Berube, an academic who has a bachelor of education, a master of arts in literature, and a PhD in comparative French and Francophone literature, has always been interested in writing.
“I always loved to write, but I never was a good writer,” Berube said. “But learning how to write in academia, I had to unlearn everything for this book. It was a series of trial and error. Writing it brought me through the emotional process again on a deeper level.
“It’s a journey back home to the heart.”
Berube will be signing copies of her debut book, Be Feel Think Do, at Nature’s Fare Markets, 3400-30th Ave., June 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. She will also be doing readings based on attendance. For more information about Berube and her story, visit www.anneberube.com.