A True Story
a story of survival –
infant death, domestic violence, single parenting,
anorexia nervosa, teen suicide, multiple losses –
a passage of personal courage, commitment to truth,
and continuing bonds across the veil
In an exceptional situation, Denny Meek has lived the nightmare not once, but three times.
Her award-winning memoir, Still Standing: A Mother’s Raw Journey from the Shadows of Loss to the Dawning of Hope, is currently being used in three Australian universities to inform undergraduate and postgraduate students in health sciences, social work, psychology, education, and nursing.
Still Standing reveals a poignant, well-written, and shocking look inside the heart, soul, and mind of a mother who’s grieved unbearable losses over and over. It’s also an inspiring story of one woman’s ability to remain standing in the face of infant loss, domestic violence, her daughter’s battle with anorexia nervosa, and the suicides of two of her teenagers.
Denny wrote this memoir in the hope that others who grieve the loss of a child could identify with inner landscapes she was describing – especially those they couldn’t share with others – to see that they weren’t alone. She also wanted to give herself and her children a voice, to ‘have their say’.
Her powerful story is conveyed with rawness and immediacy through excerpts from her journals.
She leads the reader into a world they’d never choose to enter, but once inside, they can see and feel not just pain, loss, and death – but strength, hope, and inspiration, even through events they haven’t experienced themselves.
She hopes people will see the book’s title – Still Standing – as a celebration of what the human spirit is capable of.
Above all, Denny wants to challenge the stigmas of suffering, by talking about them – the devastation, and the journey through them – openly. She feels a ‘legacy of shame, secrecy, and silence’ overshadows those bereaved by suicide, and that leaving these taboo subjects undiscussed helps perpetuate their stigmas.
With a degree in psychology, a diploma in journalism, and a determination to survive for whichever of her children are left in her care, this heartbreaking yet hopeful book is Denny’s meaning-making journey; the light pulling her through a long dark night of the soul.
Readers will identify with Denny’s courage and candour as she questions self and society. The strength and sincerity of her spiritual yearning will hearten and inspire as she shows with soul-searching honesty through the depths of her heartbreaks how she’s Still Standing.