Departing Royalty

Guest writer Marc Rettig shares a piece he wrote for a writer's workshop, working with the well-stirred cocktail of grief and delight we are experiencing through these days with Hanna.

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Bright Green Box (via Short Reads)

Hanna published a short piece called "Bright Green Box" in the literary magazine Short Reads

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Hanna and Ti Wilhelm reading Hanna's work at Carlow

Gratitude to my donor

A letter Hanna wrote to the donor who made it possible for her to continue her writing studies at Carlow University

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A dying girl goes to grad school

A letter Hanna wrote to fellow students and faculty at Carlow University, describing her condition and requesting their collaboration in her experience.

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Ireland, Beet Juice, Sea, Moon, Gratitude

Moments and stories from Hanna's time in Ireland, each an example of the dual bounties of loss and gratitude that come with ALS.

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Video: Grappling with Acceptance

Video of Hanna's talk at Creative Mornings Pittsburgh this past May. The theme that month was "Acceptance"--a challenging topic for someone diagnosed with ALS. With the help of friends, Hanna brings honesty, humor, and profound invitation to us all.

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A view of the campus at Trinity College Dublin

Traveling to Ireland

Hanna makes her first international trip since her diagnosis, and unfortunately discovers the seams between systems of support. Fortunately she was able to navigate the discomforts, but what does this say about our collective treatment of those in the margins?

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A jumbled pile of dusty broken plates

How to get through the first 17 hours after learning you have ALS

Written as a step-by-step how-to guide, this essay documents Hanna's experience through the first few hours after hearing her diagnosis of probable ALS.

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A tray of brightly colored Easter eggs

Eat or be Eaten, and Easter

Hanna reflects on a streak of incredibly difficult weeks, doubly pressed by health issues and "obligations" of self-care. Eat or be eaten. A return to better health doesn't remove all of the challenges, but it does bring firm resolve to LIVE.

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A painted collage of people's inner state and outward gestures

Caring? Feeling cared for?

Created for a writer's workshop, this example of "hermit crab writing" uses the form of a bureaucratic questionnaire as the vehicle for difficult questions about needing and receiving care.

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