Dear Camille, I regret…

Dear Camille,

Today is your birthday.

I open my journal to share something with you.

We met in dance class at university in 1983.

We found our way to each through dance, through arts and crafts, through books, through pie.  And through letters.

We intertwined our bodies in the studio and on stage.

I regret we could not express our queerness and ace-ness in the eighties.

We were trying to fit into a heteronormative world.  We had no role models.

We both clumsily lost ourselves and eventually each other.

I regret that I was not mature enough to be fully open with you.

I regret we lost touch as I was caring for my parents and going through hardships.

You died by suicide in 2007.

I regret I could not care for you when you were ill.

Thank you to artist María Hesse, whose art I am deeply inspired by.  By interpreting and altering her work in my journals, I am able to process anxiety and depression.

“I think copying someone’s work is the fastest way to learn.” – Lynda Barry

Come back to me.

Come back to me, Molly.  It’s been a strange time- hiding you from the world in order to explore new ways of telling your story.   I’m not sure I like this anymore.

You chose me.  Remember?  At the library?  15 years ago.  As your spirit wandered restlessly on the  viaduct, you passed through me with a surprised breath and your soul snagged on mine.  Tell my story, you whispered.

And for 15 years, you and I have explored so many ways to tell it.  But of late, I feel like I’ve lost you.  I miss the unpeeling of the onion, the uncovering of truths, teasing out the knots to reveal the thread, the connections.  Your slow reveals.

I miss the smell of old newsprint, the texture of old flannel, the moss on the forest floor.

I miss you walking on Pender, you at the end of my lane, you sitting in my living room.

Have I let you down?  Did I fail to trust that you are guiding?  Have you met my mom and dad?  Are you safe?

Come back to me, Molly.  Let’s start again.  From the beginning.  I have paper and pen in hand.  Tell me what’s next.

I am obsessing about Molly’s wandering soul.

I am obsessing about Molly‘s wandering soul.

I have written before that Molly somehow chose me to tell her story.  Eve Lazarus refers to it as a tap on the shoulder– and Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches.  I swear there was a breath, a startle, a moment that straightened my back, made me look around.

No one else seemed to notice anything.

The Celtic understanding did not set limitations of space or time on the soul. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your Other. – Charles McManus

2003… It’s now 2016.  Oh my God.  Molly.  Her soul encourages.  Her soul awaits.  Her soul wanders.   Wonders.  And I storyboard.



So what now?  Stay on track.  Experiment.

Sometimes it’s necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly. – Edward F. Albee

I spent hours last night re-organizing massive amounts of research.  My brother, Fred Thorsen, assures me I am up to the task- Just tell the story, he reassures.


A marker for Molly

I do not take my work on Molly lightly.  I respect that her story is a tragic one.  I respect that Molly somehow chose me to tell her story.  Eve Lazarus refers to it as a tap on the shoulder– and Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches.

I also do not take lightly the deeper bonds that formed between my parents and I as we researched and explored together.  Oh, that tap on the shoulder- what a gift!  It led to amazing adventures and brainstorm sessions between the three of us.  Delicious.

Mom and I would often spend time at Mountainview Cemetery with our dog, Tobey, visiting the unmarked grave of Molly and discussing, at length, the ins and outs of Molly’s timeline and its intersects with the Babes in the Wood cold case.  These were joyous times for us.

Even today, as I sit at my kitchen table surrounded by research, I take note of parental influence, reading through old newspaper clippings lovingly put together by my father.


I know mom and dad are still here, on my team in spirit, and that Molly always guides the work (#trust), work that continues to unfold much longer than I anticipated as the story is bigger and more profound by the day.

My mom and I certainly knew that this whole affair would not be complete until Molly’s grave site received a flat marker.  So today, as I review my to-list and notes, I decided to request a quote.

Screen shot 2015-11-14 at 12.54.35 PM

• Grass marker for Molly O’Dwyer at Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver BC


Molly Teresa

1924 – 1947

anam cara

I chose the gaelic words for soul-friend- anam cara [souls connect and bond across time and space, through life and beyond into death. source] as, to me, they truly reflect that tap on the shoulder.


UPDATE:  I received a lovely, thoughtful email and quote today from J.B. Newall regarding a 12″ x 20″ x 3″ granite memorial marker.

Some excerpts:

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry.

12″ x 20″ x 3″ granite memorial marker, in your choice of
granite colour, with up to five lines of inscription…

Cemetery permit/setting fee…

… our designers take the time to create several artful, custom
layouts from which to choose.

Currently, completion time is approximately 4-6 weeks.  We work closely with
our suppliers to ensure the best quality, monument grade granite; all of our
work is guaranteed.

Thank you again for allowing us the honour to provide you with this

Warmest Regards,

T: 604.327.1312 | F: 604.327.1397


I’m hoping to be able to proceed in the Springtime.