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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — There’s no way to measure how much we’ve lost this past year. For many of us the most tragic loss of all was people we love.

“As the numbers of deaths started mounting up, I think as a society we have become numb to the fact that numbers are so high,” said Gregg Gonzales.

Gonzales, founder of Joyful Living LLC, is creating a book project called In The Dash – A Celebration of Lives Well Lived, an anthology consisting of 12-15 chapters per book featuring family members, loved ones and friends’ personal stories of someone they love and lost to the pandemic. The term “In the Dash” refers to the dash on headstones between the year of birth and the year of death – where life is truly lived.

“My thought was, how can we tell the stories of these people who we lost, whether it was through COVID-19 or any time of passing during this era, because memorializing someone has changed,” said Gonzales. “So many people who have felt that loss have not been able to find that finality, being able to speak about them in a proper way.”

Each book will be produced through a virtual “interview” format, called the SpeakEasy Method. Each chapter in the book will be named for a person lost, along with the year of their birth and death. The interviews will highlight the impact this person made during their short but meaningful life on earth (their time “in the dash”). A portion of the proceeds from all book sales will be donated to NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Health to support their work in fighting mental illness as a result of COVID-19.

Gonzales’ goal is to raise $30,000 in donations to cover the production and publication costs and provide the opportunity for these authors to share their stories at no cost to them. 

If you want to memorialize your loved one through Gonzales’ book, message Gregg through the ‘Contact Page’ on his website at