DECEMBER 6 – ‘We are such stuff / As dreams are made on

and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep.’

Two years of COVID. Five years since I last saw Caitlin’s beautiful face. Life has wings and time is a dream.

Little Matches has been out since late April and I’ve been working hard to get people to know it exists, to plant the seeds that will keep this evergreen book alive. 🌲

In honor of Caitlin and this unbelievable, upcoming fifth anniversary of her absence from our world, I’m asking people to holiday-gift a copy of Little Matches to someone who might be in need of healing or inspiration. That “someone” could be a friend, a family member, or, maybe even better: a complete stranger. 📖

It’s been incredibly healing for me to hear how Caitlin’s story affects people. The pre-med student who posts: “Little Matches is the most important reading that I have read in all of college to prepare me for medical school, and to help me fully realize why I want to be a physician. I do not think this was Maryanne’s intention to train future physicians in this way, but she was still able to have this effect on me.” The reader who reaches out through social media: “I was transfixed by Little Matches, and grateful to know of the possibilities that fill our world. Thank you so much for this gift. What I learned has changed me…I just finished the book, and cannot explain all of my thoughts and feelings.” The high school student who messages: “i have never been much of a reader. i actually used to say i hated reading. your book has changed that. it has also allowed me the ability to find the light in such horrific pain.” ❤️

If you’d like to honor Caitlin’s memory and donate a copy of LITTLE MATCHES to a grief support center, I’ve compiled a list of some around the country. Knowing that strangers will be helped by Caitlin’s story helps ease the pain of this anniversary season for all of us who grieve her so much. ✨✨✨

Common Ground Grief Center – 67 Taylor Ave. Manasquan, NJ 08736

Kara Grief Support – 457 Kingsley Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301

EveryStep Grief and Loss Services – 1821 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Tristesse Grief Center – 2502 E. 71st Street Suite A, Tulsa, OK 74136

Wendt Center for Loss and Healing – P.O. Box 45924, Baltimore, MD 21297-5924

Agrace Grief Support Center – 2906 Marketplace Drive, Fitchburg, WI 53719

Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center – 801 Albany St 1st Floor, Suite 1026, Roxbury, MA 02119

GracePoint Grief Center – 650 Ten Rod Rd, North Kingstown, RI 02852

Lost and Found Grief Center – 1555 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65804

Dougy Grief Center – PO Box 86852, Portland, OR 97286

Mettle Health Online Holistic Care – 51 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Our House Grief Support Center – 21860 Burbank Blvd., North Building, Suite 195, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Halifax Health Grief Center – 1500 S. Daytona Ave., Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Halifax Health Grief Center – 655 North Clyde Morris Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114

Halifax Health Grief Center – 5210 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32809

Bo’s Place – 10050 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77054

New Life Hospice – “Living Through Grief” – Lorain County VA Outpatient Clinic, 5255 North Abbe Rd. Sheffield Village, OH 44035

“This is a book about life, including death. For showing us how to hold both, we owe Maryanne and Caitlin a magnificent debt of gratitude. Here is love in ink, and you will feel it. That’s not to say that their story is easy to behold—you will cry—but that’s key to the book’s great achievement: within a connection like theirs, everything has a home. Despair, hope, fear, beauty, decay, out of this world, in this world. It turns out that death poses no threat to love. Read this book to help you know that in your bones.”

—B. J. Miller, M.D., author of A Beginner’s Guide to the End

Thank you!


I am about to head over to Kenya to see, firsthand, The Leo Project and the Caitlin O’Hara Community Health Clinic. I’ll be sharing photos of Jess Danforth’s incredible accomplishments in honor of Kitten, as well as photos of beautiful Africa, on my Instagram account (follow @maryanneohara) and in forthcoming blog posts.

I am wishing every one of you much peace and good health this holiday season. I also want to send out the most heartfelt thank you for the support. Promoting a book during a pandemic, on Zoom, has been lonely. I miss the personal connection — talking to people, sharing experiences. I cannot wait until we can connect during in-person events.

Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

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