Turning a Personal Tragedy into a Journey of Discovery

Landmark Forum Grad Jennifer CokenIn 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.Coken-WhenIDie cvr - web version thumbnail HIGH RES

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.


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I would love to read this book about dealing with personal loss

This will definitely make a good read for me. Turning your pains to blessing. Though, in most cases, due to the emotional stress involved when facing challenges, it becomes so difficult to control oneself and face the reality.

I have not read any of Coken’s books or article in the past, but I like this review.

Lilia Kristensen says:

Honestly, this is what Landmark Forum does to people. It transforms minds and lives to great extents. The Forum tells us to accept difficult situations and enhance our strong suits. My life was full of sorrow until the Forum happened to me. Now; nothing makes me sad, it is all in our minds. I was a hassle all this while, trying to be the best daughter, the best student or even an exceptional employee but what I forgot was life wasn’t a competition. The forum made me slow down and enjoy those little moments of my life and suddenly I stopped complaining and felt fresh as well as happier. My coach and fellow participants helped me confront my boss and talk to him about the workload. Now, I have the perfect job and the best family in the world. Landmark Forum is one of the most important and effective courses you should pursue.

Dennis Latham says:

Losing a parent is as good as losing a hand, or an eye! You can struggle your way through life but will never feel complete. I have gone through the same except for the fact that my mum died out of a car accident. A few months later my elder brother died out of severe tuberculosis. I struggled throughout my youth but landmark cured the pain. These courses helped me accept the incident and get over it. Now I am calm and at peace.

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