Jane Nicolet is an Illinois native. Raised by two hard-working, gentle but strong-willed parents in a small Midwestern town near the banks of the Mississippi, she grew up on a diet of sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, church music, the beauty of a slow-moving river, and believing one must always finish what she starts.
A thirty-plus-year educator, Jane has probably graded tens of thousands of papers written by others, her English and education students. Still she had never considered herself a possible professional writer – only a teacher of writing. It was the death of her son and an ensuing divorce that moved her to invest the time and energy necessary to first understand, and then tell her story of loss and growth. Grace is the reason she now writes professionally.
Letters for Grace is this mother's raw and authentic walk in bereavement. Jane takes the reader on a ten-year journey, spanning from when she first heard that her son, Matthew, had died, until the 10th anniversary of his death. Throughout, the reader is invited to follow her thoughts, questions and eventual discoveries about a different kind of life beyond the chaos of profound grief and loss.
Finding Grace: journeys of grief, courage and healing is Jane's second book. This newest work uses both original essays and ghost written stories to highlight the place of Grace in one's life. Finding Grace describes how she and others discovered pathways leading to hope-filled grace following experiences of overwhelming loss.
"The Grace of Companioning"
Article for Grief Digest Magazine
Now Published Onine - September 30, 2019
To read Jane's article about being a companion, a loving witness to the grieving journey of another, click on the link below.
Finding Grace for the Grieving Heart
Stories Shared; Grace Revealed
To learn more about details, including availability and cost,
connect with Jane via her Contact Page.
This workshop can be designed specifically for your group.
with 3Hopeful Hearts
A StoryCorps Interview
Friends, Kristen Glenn and Jane Nicolet, reflect on meeting through Kristen's non-profit, 3Hopeful Hearts, created for bereaved parents and families suffering the loss of a child. Their recent collaboration actually lead to Jane's second book, Finding Grace: journeys in grief, courage and healing. Together, they discuss grief, healing, and remember their sons: Zachary Dean Glenn and Matthew Christopher Ayres
Listen - Honor - Share
The StoryCorps Archive comprises one of the largest born-digital collections of human voices, featuring conversations recorded across the United States and around the world. The full collection is housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
GRIEF AND GRACE
Join Jane as she talks with
Franklin Taggart from the Reset Podcast
to discuss Grief and Grace.
In the years following her son Matt’s death, Jane Nicolet eventually found healing and solace through writing. Her letters, later collected into a book called Letters for Grace: One Mother’s Journey, helped her through the arduous stages of loss and grief then culminated in a reconnection with her son’s spirit and memory. In her second book, Finding Grace: Journeys of Grief, Courage, and Healing, she moves beyond her own story to help other bereaved parents tell theirs, providing experienced reflections along the way.
[March 11, 2019 - 37:25:00]
To learn more about Franklin Taggart go to www.franklintaggart.com
Finding Grace: journeys of grief, courage and healing combines the search for healing found in Grieving Mindfully by Sameet Kumar with the inquisitive style of Barbara Brown Taylor's, Learning to Walk in the Dark. The tender and intimate stories shared by bereaved parents coupled with reflections on grief, courage and healing guide readers into explorations of reclaiming hope and grace from the chaos of profound grief.
Published by Balboa Press
A Division of Hay House
Letters for Grace, One Mother's Journey charts the journey of a survivor. In letters to son, Matt, and metaphorical friend, Grace, a mother unpacks her deepest wonderings and most difficult questions in a search to round and soften the painful, sharp edges of living in grief. Through honest and often-difficult conversations, this story provides the shaping of one mother’s ten-year journey after Death, disguised as a sad and uncomfortable policewoman, knocked loudly at her front door. Throughout, there is a longing to experience Rilke’s compassionate belief that being patient with one’s own questions will eventually lead to unearthing and living into their answers.
Finding Grace: journeys of grief, courage and healing
To state that my heart and mind were deeply moved by Finding Grace: journeys of grief, courage and healing seems an understatement. Jane’s writings inspire deep reflection of one’s own grief journey. Her intricate weaving of her own story, the stories of 19 other bereaved families and the wisdom of the finest of philosophers reads like a lovely mosaic. I have been searching for that one piece of literature that would speak to the hearts of all bereaved families and now I have found this in Finding Grace.
Kristin Glenn, Outreach Director of 3 Hopeful Hearts, Fort Collins, Colorado
Nicolet’s Finding Grace is a deeply thoughtful guide for navigating the storms and anguish of grief. Her honest and powerful spiritual insights into the grieving process offer ways to intentionally navigate the darkest of times. I highly recommend Finding Grace as a wonderful resource for chaplains and grief counselors as well as anyone experiencing loss.
Pat Slentz, Spiritual Director and retired Hospice Chaplain
Jane Nicolet has created a work which posits a unique relationship between grace and grief, suggesting that grace can exist inside and around the landmines that so often sabotage the healing path of bereavement. For over 35 years I have counseled grief-stricken clients who have struggled to survive a variety of overwhelming losses. I regret that Nicolet’s Finding Grace was not yet available to me as a guide and inspiration. I encourage therapists of all disciplines to add this book to their repertoire of materials for work with survivors of loss.
Nadine L Thomsen, Licensed Psychologist
Anyone recovering from tremendous grief and loss will find inspiration and healing in Finding Grace: journeys of grief, courage and healing. Jane Nicolet relays the inner-most thoughts of the bereaved through their authentic stories, told both gently and fearlessly. This inspirational book offers a unique way to grasp the interconnections of grief and grace… and hope for healing.
LeAnn Thieman, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles
Letters for Grace: One mother's journey
The story of Jane's journey and her amazing letter writing provide a roadmap for hope, self-discovery, and growth while moving through grief after the loss of her dear son. For me, I learned the value of taking help and hope where you can find it, of introspection and meditation, and of tenacity in the toughest of times. For grieving parents, Jane shares her hard earned realizations that would offer comfort and hope. A wonderful memoir.
Kathy A., Amazon Reviewer
This book, this journey of a mother through the most painful of experiences, offered to me an even greater understanding of the journey we all must take, to survive what we may never understand. To live life with all of its incomprehensible events and to continue to learn and to try, although it may seem impossible, to live with peace, joy and gratitude. Jane Nicolet shares powerful insights and shares them in language that is authentic and beautiful. This is a book we all should read
Leonard Urban, Amazon Reviewer
This book offers encouragement for those groping through the darkness of inconsolable grief. The author uses letters and poetry to share her own story of traversing the difficult road from despair to a point of solace and compassionate acceptance of human frailty, both of self and others. This thoughtful, heartfelt memoir is full of hard-earned wisdom, available for those who are ready to listen. The author has used the insights of many others to come to her own understandings, and now offers a candle to help light the way for others.
Lisa West, Amazon Reviewer
Letters for Grace is a beautifully written story of one mother's ongoing recovery from the tragic loss of her son. It's not just for those that have suffered the loss of a child, but rather for anyone who has known profound loss of any kind. I read the book in one sitting after being fortunate to have heard the author speak about her journey through grief and her journey in putting to paper this heart felt story of loss. I came away from my reading of this beautiful book looking for Grace in every subsequent difficult situation I faced. What a gift this author gave me! I have shared this book with dozens of friends and encourage you to read it as well. I have no doubt that by the time you read the last sentence you will already have several friends in mind with whom you want to share "Letters for Grace."
David A., Amazon Reviewer
Reading Jane Nicolet's book, Letters for Grace, is like listening to Ravel's "Bolero" in reverse. The work starts out brash and unsettled, with the sudden death of her estranged son. The pounding beat goes on. Themes surface and are repeated. Sometimes the slow pace of modulation is enervating. Over the course of chapters that document years of her life, the music quiets. The theme of compassion and forgiveness, especially of the author for herself, comes through clearly and simply, all the while over the insistent beat of life going on. Jane Nicolet is healed. Reading her work is healing.
Dr. Marc Ringel, Former Medical Director of Hospice of Northern Colorado