Counseling student writes book to help people cope with the loss of a spouse

For five years, Lamar University counseling student Heidi Dixon has facilitated a grief support group for spouses, called Until We Meet Again. During a Monday session, she used a knitted potholder as a reference with the hopes of better understanding what the people around her were going through. She explained that it seemed like grief resembled the cut potholder – every separate strand, raw and aching for its former connection. This metaphor led to her recently published book, My Little Blue House – a publication targeted at helping people cope with the loss of a spouse. Heidi Dixon with her books

From an early age, Dixon knew she wanted to pursue a career in clinical work. When she was 16, she took on the role of caregiver when her mother became paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident. As a current hospice chaplain, with a background in clinical pastoral education, Dixon is currently working on her master’s degree in marriage, couple and family counseling and is expected to graduate in December. 

“This is my first book,” Dixon said. “It feels very surreal, wonderful, and humbling. I have wanted to write a book for years. Only, I thought it was going to be a different one. This one seemingly came out of nowhere.” 

Dixon said she used the theme of a house because of the familiarity and connection many people have to it. It serves as the foundation to building a life and family. 

“Using the language of building a house, life inside, and placing that house in one's heart just makes a lot of sense without getting tangled up in psychological jargon,” Dixon said.  

She explains that the house is initially blue because it is sad and changes color in the story -- which represents the dramatic change that death brings.  

Heidi Dixon with Book DeliveryAs Dixon started to wrap up her writing, she turned to a familiar face to make the visual part of the book come to life. Illustrator, Coleen Bradfield, is a member of Dixon’s support group. While Bradfield was caring for her husband on his cancer journey, Dixon served as their hospice chaplain, and the two have remained friends since. 

“When the story was mostly written, I read it to our group and asked Coleen if she would be willing to make an image for the cover. After she read the story again, I remember her saying ‘You know, some illustrations would really help your words come alive.’ I told her I would love that,” Dixon said. 

Hoping to help people move on at their own pace, Dixon said she hopes to alleviate the pressures that come with grief that can often cause depression, disappointment, frustration, and disillusionment. 

“My ultimate goal for the book is to offer my love and encouragement to those who are grieving -- starting with those who inspired it. I hope it will acknowledge and validate their lived grief experience, fuel their hope, and encourage connection,” Dixon said. “For those who are not grieving, I hope it will increase awareness of and compassion for those living little-blue-house-life and increase their gratitude for the time they have with people they love.” Heidi Dixon holding My Little Blue House

Dixon is currently in the initial stages of working on her second book based on blog posts she has written over the past 11 years. It will include themes about grief, hope, faith, daily life, marriage, and motherhood. 

To keep up with “My Little Blue House”, visit their website, visit Amazon, or email Dixon at