WINNER OF THE ILLUMINATION BOOK AWARDS' 2021 SILVER MEDAL
Love. Loss. Hope. Repeat.
Life for Autumn Toelle-Jackson started out on a happy and ordinary timeline. When she entered her thirties, however, tragedy made up for lost time. Over the span of a few short years, she endured several miscarriages and the loss of her husband, a dear cousin, and child.
But one small cross-section of a life doesn't do justice to the amount of love, resilience, growth, and blessings a person experiences after such titanic losses. With each new harbinger of grief, Toelle-Jackson was forced to discover another way to survive the pain. In Boldly into the Darkness, she examines all the lessons and outcomes of her life story with aching intimacy and insight. The result is a portrait of healing so complete, it transcends the traditional survivor narrative and enters new territory, a bold light shining where before was only darkness.
Autumn Toelle-Jackson has lived a life of love and loss, filled with happiness and marked by tragedy. Labels are too simple, but they do have meaning and they do tell part of her story: wife, widow, mother, survivor. The loss of a husband, a beloved cousin and mentor, her daughter, and miscarriages have left scars on her soul and memorial tattoos on her body, but Autumn learned to grow through it all. She found love and reasons to get up each day until those days strung into weeks, then months, then years. This is her story. Autumn and her family created GrowingwithGrief to provide those who are grieving with a place to find community, resources, and help.
"With deep compassion, beautiful self-introspection, and profound vulnerability, Autumn Toelle-Jackson gracefully shines a glowing light of hope into the dark shadows of grief and loss. Boldly into the Darkness is ultimately a book about choice—the choice to say yes to life even while death abounds; the choice to invite supportive community into bottomless personal despair; the choice to love anew even while the heart aches for missed beloveds. Toelle-Jackson's story exemplifies the courage of the human spirit, the resiliency of a young wife and mother, and the post-traumatic growth that comes with intentional healing. Boldly into the Darkness is engrossing from the first page to the very last." - Susan Hannifin-MacNab, MSW, author of A to Z Healing Toolbox: A Practical Guide for Navigating Grief and Trauma with Intention
"This is a book I started reading and I could not put down. It is the true heartfelt story of Autumn Toelle-Jackson, a brave woman who has experienced more tragedy than many could endure. When you read this book, you will learn about love, loss, hope, and the indomitable strength we can all summon inside of us. It teaches us how to be resilient and move forward after a tragedy, and that it's truly possible to carry on with life's journey and even find happiness again. A masterpiece of a memoir and a must-read!" - Shawn Doyle, CSP, professional speaker and author
"With Boldly into the Darkness, Autumn Toelle-Jackson shows there can be light even in the darkest of places. Her memoir is sure to speak to the heart of everyone who has experienced a loss. What a beautiful gift she's given to readers: proof there can be hope, healing, and great love after loss. A must-read!" - Kerry Phillips, author of Letters to the Widowed Community
"Autumn Toelle-Jackson recounts the profound losses she has incurred in this lifetime with grace and tenderness. This book is less about grief and more about what it means to find meaning in our deepest struggles. If grief is a reflection of love, then the reflections we see in Toelle-Jackson's book shimmer like a gorgeous lake of resilience, holding the simple beauty of what it means to be human in this world." - Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance
"Boldly into the Darkness is more than just a book about loss. It is a beautifully woven story—as well as an educational workbook of sorts—about grief. The title itself suggests that the validity of both darkness and hope are equal, and that each individual must find their way through horrific pain in order to feel the light. Autumn Toelle-Jackson has a way of using imagery in such a way that we feel as if we are inside every single physical and emotional place she courageously takes us to." - Kelley Lynn Shepherd, author of My Husband Is Not a Rainbow: The Brutally Awful, Hilarious Truth about Life, Love, Grief, and Loss
"In Boldy into the Darkness, Autumn Toelle-Jackson vulnerably shares her story of love and loss. She is honest and authentic as she takes us on her journey through darkness and survival. Toelle-Jackson's story is sad at times but shows us her strength, resilience, and commitment to living a full and love filled life." - Dr. Nancy Saltzman, author of Radical Survivor: One Woman’s Path Through Life, Love, and Uncharted Tragedy