Peg Conway is the author of The Art of Reassembly: A Memoir of Early Mother Loss and Aftergrief. She earned a master’s in journalism and worked in corporate communication before focusing on raising her family. Now she writes and practices energy healing in Cincinnati, OH, where she also volunteers at a children’s grief center. Her essays have appeared at The Good Men Project, Austin Fit Magazine, and Manifest-Station.
Hi, I’m Peg. I wrote a memoir about early mother loss, and I practice an energy therapy called Healing Touch. I found my way on these paths of healing by following different threads of curiosity, and now I offer both my writing and energy healing sessions as tools to help other people with grieving and living.
As a child, when no adults were near, I’d sneak down to the tall, forest green metal file cabinet where our family photos were stored. Crouching before it, I’d brace my lower body to tug open the second from bottom drawer to inhale the comfort of its musty smell and then carefully peruse the bright yellow Kodak envelopes that bore witness to our family life from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, prior to my mom’s death. When I finished, the leaden drawer shut with a gentle, resounding “thump” that I loved.
These clandestine forays were my earliest impulse to mourn and remember, though it went dormant for quite a few years after my dad’s remarriage, a family move, and the arrival of a new baby papered over the grief. Since young adulthood, I’ve been following inner promptings over and over to uncover it.
Until recently I would never have mentioned early mother loss to describe myself, yet now I see that her death shaped my entire life. My mom died of breast cancer at age 37 when I was seven. I want my writing to raise awareness of childhood grief’s long arc, especially for adults who grew up without the opportunity to fully mourn an early loss. I hope readers of my memoir and other writing about grief will feel seen and understood, and less alone.
A thread of curiosity brought me to energy healing too, soon after our youngest left for college. At the gentle but persistent encouragement of a friend, I signed up for my first Healing Touch workshop with no idea what to expect. Early on a Saturday morning, I found myself sitting in a circle with thirty others as a chime sounded to call the group to order.
After introductions, the instructor stood to begin. “First, I invite you just to experience energy. Rub your palms together, back and forth for a bit,” she said, demonstrating. We remarked on the tingling sensation, and she said, “That’s energy.”
“Now, hold your palms facing each other about a foot apart. Gently move your hands closer to each other and farther apart. What do you notice?”
Hmm. This was interesting. I could sense an edge as I moved my hands closer. There was pressure or shape, almost like holding a ball between my hands. I sat up straighter, my gaze now focused on the instructor. Over the next five years, I kept taking the next step, and the next step, moving deeper into the role of healer that I have come to cherish.
I offer individual Healing Touch sessions that serve as an oasis for clients, where together we create inner calm. Whether they are coping with everyday stresses or a significant life event, clients leave a Healing Touch appointment feeling calm and peaceful, with greater clarity of mind.
I live in a village I love just outside of Cincinnati where we’re surrounded by mature trees and green space but also able to drive downtown in 20 minutes. I enjoy playing the piano, visiting museums, and walking our rescue beagle mix, Sadie.
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