Alison Garwood Jones

The Queen of Death

June 7, 2024

Alison Garwood-Jones author page for I Miss My Mommy: 150 Portraits of Orphaned Adults

I didn’t set out to create a book on grief …

Hi, I’m Alison. As a magazine writer, I’ve interviewed:
• Olympic boxers
• Presidential candidates*
• Mayoral candidates**
• Legendary art directors***
• Famous because they’re famous types****
• TV stars
• PhDs
• Scientists
• CEOs
• Age-defying dermatologists
• Starchitects
• Bro-ey Chefs
• Prima Ballerinas

I could have kept adding to this list, but grief felt more insistent than the voices of all of the above combined.

Just before the pandemic, I started drawing fictional portraits of people in different stages of grief and organizing them into a narrative arc.

When I realized what I was doing, I opened a Google Doc and asked myself: “Alison, do you really want to lead a discussion on grief?”

The answer was: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! All-capped and bolded for emphasis. Then underlined twice. I am not the Queen of Death, I thought. My feet are sheathed in ballet flats and my earlobes have tiny pearl drops on display. Let’s stick to that.

And, yet, here I am.

I consider I MISS MY MOMMY, my new graphic novel on grief, to be the ultimate act of leaning into your fear. In the morning the thought of what I am doing drags me down. But when I connect with my readers, or one-on-one IRL (like I did last night in the park next to my house), it buoys me and I float home like a big red balloon.

If your grief is looking for a safe place to land, perhaps my book will help you.

Alison Garwood-Jones



* Robert Kennedy Jr. when he was still fighting for the environment.
** Rob Ford (it’s true, he did call everyone back).
*** George Lois. Legend. (I emailed him when Muhammad Ali died and he tapped out such an emotional response).
**** Paris Hilton (at the height of her perfume empire).


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