It All Belongs: Love, Loss, & Learning to Live Again
When Grief Invades the Holiday Season:
New Book Offers Timeless Message of Hope
“You have a large mass in your right temporal lobe.” When these 10 words
rocked Judy Smoot’s well-sculpted world, she and her husband, Roy, began a
10-month journey through brain cancer surgeries, treatments, stroke therapy,
unexpected and tender moments, fears, anger, and beauty.
KENNEBUNK, Maine, Nov. 13, 2023 — It All Belongs: Love, Loss, & Learning to
Live Again is an exquisite juxtaposition of perspectives tracing Judy and Roy
Smoot’s final four years together. Much more than a book, It All Belongs is an
immersive experience that opens a rare window into uncommonly candid end-oflife realities through a soulful mosaic of expressive art, journal entries, poetry, and
deeply personal writings.
“This is a book to be used,” Roy Smoot explains. “It’s filled with ideas, tools, and
examples to help guide individuals and groups in discussing and contemplating
their own inevitable journeys of love and dealing with grief”.
When Judy, a spiritual director who used expressive arts to help others cope with
chronic illness, receives the devastating diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme,
she must put these spiritual practices to the ultimate test. Because she knew how
making art sustained her, Judy continued to paint or draw up until the very end
of her life. As Judy lives fully into her own mortality, she models her practices for
others. But that’s only half the story.
Following Judy’s death, Roy, Judy’s husband and soulmate of nearly 40 years, enters
a world he didn’t know existed, a world he didn’t want to know, a world of searing
pain, grief, and grace beyond anything he could conceive. It All Belongs invites
readers to follow Roy from the raw angst of dealing with grief his day-to-day
realities to his deep introspection. In constantly journaling through his travels,
including a long road trip out west and a spiritual quest in Iona, Scotland, Roy
mirrors Judy’s work to find his own path through his devastating grief.
This unique pairing of perspectives offers spiritual tools and healing practices to
help readers face end-of-life realities by exploring the beauty, light — and even joy
— tucked within even the most tragic of circumstances. It All Belongs encourages
readers to listen deeply, explore purposefully, and fully embrace this sacred time.
“Hold nothing back in your questions, rantings, thoughts, emotions,” Roy Smoot
writes in the book’s introduction. “As this book’s title affirms, everything you feel,
think, ask, experience, live through, and release is a sacred part of your journey. It
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About the Authors
JUDY & ROY met in college at Ohio State, were married
following graduation, and for the next four decades
lived and loved in Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and Maine. Roy
enjoyed a successful banking career; Judy served as a
Wellstreams spiritual director, a Dominican Associate,
and an Expressive Arts Florida Institute (EAFI) certified
expressive arts therapist. Judy established Always
We Begin Again (AWBA), a non-profit organization to
support people with chronic illness. Later in life they made their home at “Sunrise
Ridge,” their cottage and retreat center renovated and created in the breathtaking
beauty of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.
Two and a half years after Judy’s death, Roy married June, a very good friend of
Judy’s who says one of the reasons she fell in love with him was his fulfillment of
his promise to Judy to publish this book. They live in Kennebunk, Maine, where
they enjoy the mountains, ocean, and snowshoeing through Maine’s scenic winters.