Valerie Ihsan

author, editor, dog lover


The day Valerie found out she was pregnant with her second child was the day her husband died. He'd fallen asleep driving. She didn't know how to be a widow. Widows were old, with bunions. Not 26, and pregnant. She moved cross-country from Massachusetts to Oregon, delivered her baby and sought catharsis in journaling and art. And then there was the dating. Somehow that seemed scarier than trying the spirit medium. During her spiritual journey, she discovered that falling in love again wasn't a betrayal, and soon enough, she was able to wear grief with grace. Smell the Blue Sky shares one woman's grief process and how she emerged from the darkness, stronger and wiser.

"...beautiful, compelling writing..."

"I strongly recommend this to anyone who is struggling with grief and to anyone who wants a glimpse of the human heart."

"A wonderful story of one person understanding their grief as well as their love...This story is told with tears, humor, and reflection. Thank you for the very personal and honest telling of your story."

"...her storytelling gave such intimate expression to her own grief but still provide[s] the reader the opportunity to explore their own."

Available locally at:

Tsunami Books in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area,

GrassRoots Books and Music in Corvallis, Oregon, and online at

Powell's Book Stores in Portland, Oregon.

Also available here to buy at all your favorite digital stores.

And here for paperbacks at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.