Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Q&A with Jarie Bolander




Jarie Bolander is the author of the new memoir Ride or Die: Loving Through Tragedy, A Husband's Memoir. The book focuses on his relationship with his late wife, Jane. Bolander's other books include Story-Driven Outreach. Also an entrepreneur and a podcaster, he's based in San Francisco.


Q: Why did you decide to write Ride or Die?


A: I wanted to process the grief and sorrow I had over Jane dying. Writing is how I process the world and it helped me integrate the grief and find some goodness in what happened. Sounds strange but some good came out of Jane dying. I also wanted to help other men who are going through tough times know that they are not alone in their struggle.


Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: The title came from Jane. She would always say that we're a "Ride or Die" couple. It was actually a great way to describe our relationship as well as our commitment to each other and getting her cured. FYI. That was the second title. The first one was "Say a Prayer for Greenie" which my editor, Brooke, smartly asked, "So, what exactly does that mean?" It was Brooke who recommended the title. So I owe the awesome title and subtitle to her and Jane. 


Q: The writer Jane Enright called the book "a powerful reminder to us that each day is a gift." What do you think of that description?


A: I think it captures what I learned from the experience. Life is precious. You don't know how many more days you might have. Jane thought she would live a long life and it turned out, she died at 36. Tragic and sad yet she lived life like every day was her last. Not in a hedonist way but in a way that gave thanks to the day so that you used it wisely.


Q: What impact did it have on you to write this memoir?


A: It helped me process and integrate my grief. It's hard for me (and most men) to share my feelings about subjects that show vulnerability. This memoir was a way for me to understand my grief, process it, and then be able to talk about it. My hope is that as folks read it, they realize that it's okay to talk about hard things and to get help.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Right now, I'm working on a series of business books in the Story-Driven Startups series. I'm a B2B consultant so telling stories is what I do for a living. I'm also exploring writing about resilience but nothing firm on that.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I'm engaged to a wonderful woman who helped me so much on my journey through grief. I'm thankful every day that I got lucky and found love again. 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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