A suitcase, a jar… and a memoir

Becky Livingston travelled the world with a suitcase containing the ashes of her daughter Rachel

When Becky Livingston hit the road, she didn’t travel light. In her suitcase was a jar containing the ashes of her 23-year-old daughter Rachel, who had succumbed to a brain tumour. Rachel had loved travelling more than anything; for her grieving mother, continuing the adventure for her daughter who could not was the only thing that made sense.

That 26-month journey is recounted in the memoir The Suitcase & the Jar: Travels with a Daughter’s Ashes, published this month by Caitlin Press. Livingston will launch the book in her hometown of Nelson on Thursday, September 20 at 7:00 pm at the Nelson Public Library.

Livingston didn’t have an agenda or a timeline when she set out. The heavy, compact jar of ashes grew lighter as she scattered them in Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, India, England, Ireland and North America. By merging her daughter’s soul with the elements, Livingston experienced her own transformation through grief, surrender, dislocation, and belonging.

Says author Eve Joseph, “The Suitcase & The Jar is not simply another book about loss. It is an invitation; an illumination into the complexities of love. A fine intelligence moves through these pages. There is no false sentiment here. Livingston articulates grief with a writer’s keen eye. She shows us not a way through loss, but a way in.”

Also featured as part of the presentation is a short film about the book created by Kelowna-based filmmaker Adrian Juric, who will be in attendance. Juric’s films document the courageous inner journeys taken by authors, entrepreneurs, and others.

Becky Livingston was born and raised in England and emigrated to Vancouver, where she raised her two daughters, and has been a teacher, peer counsellor, retreat leader, housesitter, and creative spirit. She now lives in Nelson. Since turning her focus to writing, her work has appeared in a variety of publications. The Suitcase & The Jar is her first full-length book.


Just Posted

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Laird Creek residents still hoping for independent report on logging road

Logging company wants to reopen road that residents believe caused slide in 2011

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read