A love letter to Ireland

I just returned from one of the most wondrous God Box journeys yet. This month I performed my one woman show The God Box, A Daughter’s Story in Ireland, at theaters in Limerick and Dun Laoghaire just outside Dublin city. Onstage I always learn something new, whether in small US towns, big cities or other countries. And the Irish people were the best of teachers. In the show, I am as fully open as I can be about what it means to love parents with all your heart and then lose a part of yourself when they die. Audiences react in their own unique ways. Some audiences delight me with their hearty laughter at the happiest nostalgic moments, others become quite emotional, and many tell me they look deeply into themselves. Do I love my mother that much? What would I change if I could? Can I face the grief that won’t let go?

In Ireland, I could feel the ‘motherlove’ as delicious and natural as the fresh Irish air. It’s a country of family, an island that feels connected to every neighbor. And Ireland is also a country that knows deep grief and loss. They were what I call a ‘pin drop crowd’ feeling each beat with me through to the curtain call. That’s why it was fitting that The God Box Project paid it forward to this beautiful homeland of mine, devoting all proceeds to support the voluntary efforts of the Irish Hospice Foundation. In this photo, I’m shoulder to shoulder with my new friend Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation whose mission is to strive for best of care at the end of life, for all. My hope is that I can help raise awareness and support in the months to come.

Sharon FoleySharon kindly wrote, “Mary Lou eloquently portrays the life and death of her beloved parents in this powerful production that will pull on your heartstrings. We are proud and delighted to have the support of The God Box Project.” I couldn’t be more grateful to bring my journey of the heart to the country with such a big one.

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press & praise
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  • "A wonderful legacy…Keeping a God Box is an incredibly moving and hopeful ritual that we should all consider adding into our daily lives."
    – REBA, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ACTRESS
  • "What a beautiful and profoundly human book....I will keep The God Box in my heart for a long, long time."
    – LAURA SCHROFF, AUTHOR OF "THE INVISIBLE THREAD"
  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
    – ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR OF "EAT, PRAY, LOVE"
  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
    – JEFFREY ZASLOW, COAUTHOR OF "THE LAST LECTURE"
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan shares her mother’s handmade and heartfelt gift of how to persist, believe and move forward with joy."
    – LEE WOODRUFF, AUTHOR OF "IN AN INSTANT"
  • "The courage and wisdom from the messages left in her mother’s God Box will inspire you to create a God Box of your own."
    – GAIL SHEEHY, AUTHOR OF "PASSAGES IN CAREGIVING"
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan has told the story of her mother in a way that entertains, moves and inspires. The thoughts about life and values will stick with you forever."
    – JIM LEHRER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF PBS NEWSHOUR

The God Box App is shiny new and ready to welcome your cares

December 15, 2017
by Mary Lou Quinlan

Since The God Box book was published in the spring of 2012, so many readers have told me that they started their own God Boxes. I love hearing stories of children creating God Boxes and married couples joining their prayer and cares in a family box. (And my mother would be thrilled!)  A 'real' God box is a constant reminder that we are not in control and that letting go is the first step to finding comfort, hope and relief for life's worries. But did you know that many thousands have gone virtual with their God boxes? To help the many busy ...

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