sophie gregoire trudeau

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau gets candid about new book

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is ready to tell her story.

The 49-year-old was sitting in a small room when we reached her on a Zoom call on a March morning. She looked refreshed and eager to take on a day of interviews about her new book Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other.

But Grégoire Trudeau didn't want to take the typical approach to writing her memoir. She has many life lessons and experiences to share, but she also has many deep questions.

While most of us resort to Google or our therapist to find answers about meaning and purpose, Grégoire Trudeau has turned to a roster of prominent names in the wellness space — like Dr. Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld — for clarity, and she's not gatekeeping the wealth of knowledge they shared.

In her book, she incorporates their insights, including (at times lengthy) interviews she conducted with them, and morphs together both a memoir and a self-help guide.

Grégoire Trudeau admits she had "so much content" from her interviews to pour into the book.

"The interviews had to be so edited because they were so incredible, and I really wanted to make this content accessible," she said.

"You know, not everybody knows about the nervous system and the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. We don't get taught that in school, but we need this re-education to start now."

sophie gregoire trudeauOpening up on her terms

Aside from educating readers, Grégoire Trudeau also opens up on her own terms.

After years of balancing her privacy with a very public life as Canada's "unofficial" first lady, one may think she'd use her memoir to "spill the tea" and reveal juicy, social-media-gossip-worthy nuggets about herself or notable people she's interacted with during her colourful career.

But this isn't that kind of book.

Grégoire Trudeau approaches her writing with openness and vulnerability, seeking to bring herself and her readers "closer together" through shared experiences.

Each chapter brings on a new life transition, exploring themes like purpose, family, anxiety, trauma and sexuality.

"I wanted people to navigate through my story, and I wanted to travel with them. I wanted to create a connection between the reader and me, so we can learn at the same time with these experts," Grégoire Trudeau said.

Being so open to an already critical public is nothing short of intimidating, but Grégoire Trudeau doesn’t seem too worried about what others say or think about her authentic self.

"I think at 49, I have to let go of that. I want to present myself as the real me," the author explained.

"For me, connection is super important. I'm an only child, and 'the other' is a source of solace for me, and I want others to feel as safe as I do."

Difficult emotions

Closer Together also delves into how Grégoire Trudeau deals with difficult emotions, especially when it comes to protecting her three children, Xavier (16), Ella-Grace (14) and Hadrien (10), from the public vitriol that is often aimed at their father, Justin Trudeau.

As much as the former TV host wants to be resilient, she admits that she, too, can become overwhelmed, but she cannot hide her feelings.

"When I'm in a little ball and I'm crying and I'm tired, I don't hide it," she said.

"I let the pain rise, and I let my children see that."

She expands on why she doesn't repress these emotions in the book.

"To suppress any of our emotions — sadness, anger, rage, depression — is a sure-fire way to experience more of the same and to risk repercussions in our capacity to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves," she writes.

"What is felt needs to be expressed, even if what is felt isn't so great."

Love has helped her heal

Grégoire Trudeau also doesn't shy away from sharing her thoughts on love, an emotion that she says she's always been deeply connected to.

At the beginning of one chapter, she explains that she has been "in love with life" for as long as she can remember.

"When I get to offer love, I feel more alive than ever," she continues.

She's also learned a lot about the meaning — and different forms — of love, especially over the past year.

Last summer, she and Justin Trudeau announced they had split. Their joint statement was short and to the point: they remained close with a "deep love and respect for each other."

While she doesn't divulge personal details about their separation in the book, Grégoire Trudeau explores the multifaceted and beautiful aspects of love that have helped her heal and evolve.

For her, love is often put in a box of what society believes it should look like, and she's not interested in entertaining those stereotypes.

"I think that it is emotionally immature in society to hold a language that narrows down the concept of relationships to 'success is marriage; divorce is a failure.' I don’t believe that," she said.

"And if we could expand our feeling of security inside ourselves, we would uphold longer lasting relationships even if they fringe in structure."

Although they are no longer romantically together, Grégoire Trudeau and the prime minister seem to have maintained a relationship built on love.

She shares a tiny insight into their current relationship in the book's acknowledgement section.

"To Justin: sharing life, parenting and raising incredible kids together has been the most beautiful adventure," she writes. "We will always navigate the waters of our bond with respect, care, friendship and love."

There is no drama and no bad blood. That's not the way she lives her life.

"We dramatize everything from the gossip news to what's happening in the world and the importance of social media and what people think — we dramatize everything," she explained.

"And we don't need to; we suffer more because of it."

Instead, she's choosing to live and share her story with openness, honesty and the willingness to embrace connection.

"I live from a place of congruence and integrity," said Grégoire Trudeau. "I want to make sure that people sense and feel that."

Lead photo by

@sophiegregoiretrudeau/Instagram


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