Newly-published author and Town of Newburgh native Gina Moffa, LCSW will be hosting a signing for her book Moving On Doesn’t Mean Letting Go: A Modern Guide to Navigating Loss. The signing event will take place at Barnes & Noble Newburgh on Saturday, September 23 from 1-3 p.m.
Moffa, a licensed clinical social worker, shares her two decade clinical experiences and aspects of her own personal life in her newly-written work. It officially released in bookstores on August 22 and serves as a guide with tools that helps the reader navigate through various forms of loss and grief in a fast paced modern society. The book helps those through the period known as grieffall, a free fall into grief that others may experience from that period or moment in their lives.
“I’m honored that I get to be a part of the conversation that my book gets to be one of the books that somebody will choose when they’re in their most pain stricken vulnerable place in their life after a loss,” she said. “It’s not every day somebody gets to be an author on a bookshelf.”
The book itself is a first time experience as a writer for Moffa and also serves as an honorary written work to her late mother, Rose Marie, who passed away from cancer on December 7, 2015 and to all her clients. Moffa also shared that when mother passed, her work in therapy focused on grief and loss.
Moffa, who grew up in the Town of Newburgh area, had aspirations in her life to become a singer, pursuing that aspiration in music school. Moffa would pursue other interests of study such as law and transferred schools before settling on an interest in human behavior, pursuing social work.
Her pursuits of this field, mainly focusing on trauma therapy, were reinforced from the impacts in the wake of the September 11 attacks that affected New York City and the country as a whole. Moffa later graduated from New York University School of Social Work in 2004.
Her work in the field has taken her to parts of Eastern Africa and back home in the United States working with nonprofits in New York City. From addicts, asylum seekers, Holocaust survivors, young adults, middle aged adults, people from across the country who could not afford therapy or needed a new therapist, Moffa shares anecdotes and reflections, mental tools and exercises while being a literary support system. Even during the COVID pandemic, Moffa recalled listening and talking to clients and individuals about their loss of loved ones due to the virus, losing jobs, going through divorces or overall having no support in their lives.
“It’s a privilege to be able to sit with someone in their darkest moment, and know that they’re trusting you with their story and their pain,” she said. “That’s not something I take lightly.”
During the course of her work, the most common notion that Moffa has become aware of when dealing with grief was to grieve quickly and move on. Even more so, as a mental health clinician, Moffa wants to see more support and access for those who may need mental health care.
“Everybody is always telling people who have gone through a loss or a trauma or a major change in their life to hurry up and move on or to move on and let it go,” she said. “Give yourself permission to feel this or give yourself permission to experience that, or this is how this might feel.”
In getting her book onto shelves, Moffa made the decision to go the route of traditional publishing by pitching her book to a top publishing house and even had to acquire an agent. Moffa would eventually work with Grand Central Publishing, Balance, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group. She recalled that the book took four months to write and went through a series of edits for five months after. In a way, Moffa shared that she felt guided by her mother to write this book and now has finally reached that goal.
Now with her first book officially on shelves in both the United States and globally in places like the United Kingdom, Moffa has her sights set on writing another work. She is grateful to her family and supporters and now being back in her hometown to share her story is a gratifying experience.
“I don’t know what will come of it, but I hope that it helps people in a time of need. That’s really that’s my deepest hope,” Moffa said.