Special Feature April Meet The Author — MEET HEATHER GOODEN
My name is Heather Gooden, and I am a recovering thrill seeker.
Just kidding. I am a wife, mom to four children, (three in grade school, one on her
way to college this fall), and I am also a full-time family physician who practices rural
family medicine in the same area I was born and raised.
And, for my sanity and own entertainment, I wake up crazy early (like four am early)
Almost every day, for the last 5 years, I have written something. Sometimes poetry,
sometimes long rambling journal entries, sometimes novels. But, once I discovered
NaNoWriMo in 2015, I was off to the races and haven’t looked back.
My latest release is the first of its kind for me, and stands apart from the fiction
genres I’ve written so far. Although technically considered Narrative Medicine and non-
fiction, I think in many ways, Passages still encompasses the magic the rest of my fiction
novels and short stories do.
The world can be a wonderful, terrible, magical, and amazing place, and this book,
Passages, explores that premise through a combination of poetry and prose. It was
written over the course of a year, my first year of writing, in fact, and is composed of a
selection of some of my early work in dealing with the grief and loss I often face in my
I have a special interest in caring for the elderly and those near the end of life. But
along with all the wonderful moments I’ve had because of the nature of this work,
providing care for this particular subsection of our world also brings inevitable losses as
part of the journey.
Whether touching on difficult subjects such as cancer, privilege, still birth, dementia,
and everything else I can imagine, I walk through my own emotions while exploring what
it means to be alive and to cross that last bridge into death– a place I’ve never been, but
will someday travel to.
Passages: Death, Dementia, and Everything in between
Life is full of surprises; of laughter, love, and losses.
This collection explores the transitions between the highs and lows of life through
poetry and prose.
May you find the words on these pages as much a balm to guide you through
rocky seas as they have been for me.