Turning a Personal Tragedy into a Journey of Discovery
In her new memoir, Landmark Forum graduate Jen Coken recalls the enormous shift in perspective caused by the death of her mother from Ovarian cancer, which offers lessons for dealing with difficult times.
Jennifer Coken is a political activist, a stand-up comic, life coach, and writer based in Washington DC. She has written a new memoir that tells the story of her mother’s death from ovarian cancer, and Coken’s own transformation that emerged out of her grief.
Titled “When I Die, Take My Panties: Turning Your Darkest Moments Into Your Greatest Gifts,” the book is intended as a wake-up call for women who are over 40 to listen to their bodies and catch the symptoms of ovarian cancer early on. The book illustrates the transformation that can emerge from tragedy, and what lessons are learned along the way, such as a real appreciation of what we have in front of us in our lives.
The book’s lessons also draw on Jennifer’s experience taking part in The Landmark Forum and in leading seminars for Landmark for nearly twenty years, empowering people to go beyond their supposed limitations. Coken, who is also a comedienne, uses humor to in the book to recognize and embrace the ridiculousness of life.
“Jennifer Coken’s memoir sheds light on an important issue that every woman needs to know about. Take the journey with her through the tragic death of her mother to ovarian cancer and possibly save a life in doing so,” said Dr. Caryn Silver, MD, Florida Cancer Specialists.
According to Heather Booth, civil rights activist, “For all those who have lived through their parents dying, this is a moving reminder of how important that period can be. Whether or not you have lost a parent, it is a heart-warming testimony to the power of love and living life to the fullest while you can,”
Before writing “When I Die, Take My Panties”, Coken worked for 30 years as a political and legislative strategist, running campaigns at local, state and federal levels, and as a entrepreneur starting non-profit organizations and raising millions of dollars for them. She has worked for the Public Interest Research Groups, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Congressional Hunger Center, the Western Clean Energy Campaign and over 40 other clients working on different campaigns. She was one of the founders of Hands on DC and assisted with the creation of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington DC. This is her first book.