For author Eileen Doyon, healing has come one book at a time.
The Fort Edward native is the author of “Unforgettable Faces & Stories,” a series of books that recall memories of loved ones who have died.
Doyon, who left the area 35 years ago and now lives in Portsmouth, N.H., said her first book, “Dedications: Dads and Daughters,” is a compilation of essays by women whose fathers served in the military.
That was followed by “Keepsakes: Treasures from the Heart,” in which contributors described how certain tangible objects brought alive good feelings about their dearly departed relatives.
“I think everyone has a story to tell and pictures to share over the course of their lifetime, both happy and sad,” Doyon said. “I think this is a great opportunity for people ... to come together and shed a tear, share smiles and just know that they’re not alone out there.”
Doyon said she never intended to become an author but had experienced the deaths of loved ones early in her life. A few years ago, she was again grieving the loss of both her father and uncle.
She was given a chandelier from her grandmother and her father’s dog tags from World War II and felt a special connection to the items. Doyon thought others probably identified with such feelings and decided to assemble stories from friends who had lost their dads. She reached out to friends she knew, including some from Fort Edward, and asked them to talk about their fathers.
After finishing the first book, Doyon said the response from contributors was so overwhelming she felt there must be other topics people wanted to share, which was the impetus for “Keepsakes.”
She said she makes donations from the book sales to different civic organizations. Her newest book, “Best Friends,” will be available soon, and “Smalltown Memories” and “Motorcycle Memories” are in the planning stages.
Doyon said she gained healing from her grief by compiling these essays and hopes she is helping others.
“I think we live in such an electronic world that people want the human touch side of life and want to feel part of something like a community,” she said. “My goal was really to be a small piece of that for other people.”