Can one person make a difference in the world?

Australian children's author, Karen Collum, thinks so.

Optimistic, energetic and enthusiastic, Karen is passionate about books that celebrate togetherness, embrace individuality and empower each reader, no matter how small, to do their part in making the world a better place.

Karen currently lives in Ballarat with her husband, three sons, one daughter, two dogs and a collection of characters that inhabit her imagination.

The Overcoat of Grief


(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

At first, when someone you love dies, you wake up and you’re wearing a stranger’s overcoat with pockets full of lead and tears and excruciating memories that are hidden in the pockets and the lining and the hood. It’s too big and too heavy and uncomfortable and you know it is intent on crushing you or strangling you or smothering you. It’s claustrophobic and all-encompassing and completely terrifying and some days you feel like you can’t even breathe. You drag yourself and the overcoat through this strange, unfamiliar thing that was once your life. Everything is the same except it’s completely different and you don’t know how to be in this life without that person on which apparently your entire world hinged, without you even realizing it. The physicality of wearing the overcoat is agonising and it’s all you can do to put one foot in front of the other, or cook one meal or pick up that one toy off the floor. Keep reading →

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