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Elisa Donovan Details Grief and Loss in New Memoir Wake Me When You Leave

Elisa Donovan Details Grief and Loss in New Memoir Wake Me When You Leave
Storm Santos

The actor tells Advocate Now how she was able to turn her loss into light.

Elisa Donovan is stepping back into the spotlight with a deeper purpose.

Known for her roles in Clueless and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Donovan has now chosen to shine her light as an author and director. Her memoir, "Wake Me When You Leave," which is currently being developed as a film, details her experiences overcoming grief and heartache.

Elisa Donovan | Advocate Now

During a tumultuous period in her life, Donovan wasn't sure how she would pull through, she tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now. But the artist shares that she was able to turn her time of loss into a time of reflection.

"I thought, how do I really want to spend my life? What imprint do I want to make?" Donovan says. "How do I want to walk through the world on a daily basis?"

Donovan was experiencing the cancellation of her show, the end of a long-term relationship, and her father's terminal cancer diagnosis all at once. While it was harrowing in the moment, Donovan says that in hindsight, it helped her become a person with purpose.

Even after her father's death, Donovan says that she was profoundly connected to him still, and that she felt his presence with her in a variety forms, oftentimes through her dreams. She doesn't believe anyone is ever truly gone — they simply pass on to somewhere else.

While loved ones may pass in the physical world, Donovan says that we can still rely on those around us to mend heartache. Donovan's own journey of healing inspired her to reach out to others through her memoir, to inspire people in times of grief, and to begin a conversation that they might be reluctant to have.

"We don't like to talk about difficult things in our culture," she says, continuing, "Anyone who has gone through loss of any kind understands that it is a very nuanced experience. It can be really isolating. So, I felt very compelled to share my experience because it's ultimately a very hopeful one."

Donovan adds: "We don't have to go through these things alone."

"Wake Me When You Leave" is available now.

For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.

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