Welcome to the website for They Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad. Please peruse the tabs to find more information about this book consisting of 300 vignettes that portray the stages of caring for and saying goodbye to a loved one, as seen through the eyes of a daughter and her terminally ill parents.
They Live On Lives Here
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5 responses to “They Live On Lives Here”
A wonderful read and journey as one nears the end of one life and begins another one. I loved it. A must read
This is a beautiful and insprational book. I went through a similar situation when I was caring for my mother who passed away in 2007, so I can truly understand what is described in the book. I recommend this to anyone caring for elderly parents or who experienced a loss of one or both parents.
Kate Curry, author of “Retrieving the Spirit”, a poetry book about overcoming trauma and loss.
Pat – this sounds like a fantastic book, cannot wait to read it – and wish to thank you, in advance, for having the energy, insight and wisdom to write about this important journey. As a former bereavement therapist, and one of those ‘sandwich-generation’ members, these resources are essential to our understanding and reconciliation of losing loved ones. I would love to reconnect and I do hope you are doing well. Take good care and thank you again!
Patricia…wow! The article in the TU blog struck me so deeply. I lost my Father 11 days before my birthday in 91 and my Mom suddenly 5 days before Christmas in 94. The mix of birthday and sympathy cards in 91 were difficult at best but the year that my Mom died, the mix of Christmas and sympathy cards was unbearable. I never knew what I was opening and quite honestly, they sat in a pile for a while. It is a unique situation and your blog flooded me with that time. Since then, I am reticent to wish people a happy anything! I am also a social worker and know that people do not feel happy at this time of the year for a myriad of reasons. Thank you for putting this topic and your experience out into the public.
I was at the Malta library for your presentation on the question of Mary Todd Lincoln’s sanity, having been an avid reader of her life as well as Abraham Lincoln’s life. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin was one of my all time favorite reads.
However, what captured me most was your introduction. You spoke of your book ‘They Live On’ but you also presented an abbreviated summary of your personal challenges. That is what resonated with me the most and lingers in my mind.
I moved to this area from central NY (Skaneateles) during this past year. My father died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 17 and for most of my adult years, it was only my mother and siblings from my family of origin. My Mom died 6 years ago and in reading your book, I found many words for my feelings that I previously could not put into words. After moving here, to be closer to our 2 adult daughters, my husband and I returned from a vacation in Maine late one Sunday evening. The next morning I received a phone call that one of my younger brothers had died in South Carolina at the age of 53. Little information was provided and immediately my husband threw our yet unpacked clothes from Maine into the car and headed to SC, as did all my other siblings from central NY and Texas.
As a former trauma/ER nurse I was deeply affected by the information regarding his death which I question in my mind all the time. His wife did not want an autopsy despite not knowing what happened, only that he had complained of chest pain in the morning which she suggested was muscle pain so he went on to Charleston for a business meeting. While there, he continued to deteriorate, spoke of not feeling well enough to continue the meeting and was going home. Ultimately, having taken a shortcut through a southern “piney woods” he was not found for over an hour, dead at the wheel of his car still running. The death of the first sibling is also emotionally traumatizing…beyond what I ever thought possible.
I feel so deeply sad and traumatized by this, and am here in a new area with few contacts and only a couple of possible friendships commencing to form. It is such a feeling of disconnect, trying to find my way through this gut wrenching pain I feel every day, and literally trying to find my way around this geographic area I live in.
I purchased your book after your presentation, and though heart wrenching at times, it is brilliant. You capture and present in such a very real way, all the emotions and challenges you faced, as well as allowing readers to know your parents through your writings.
I am hoping to join the Malta morning book group you, and several people I have met, belong to. Previously I was in a book group for almost 20 years with some of the Docs I worked with. I feel a little intimidated about joining, because in this time of grieving I still feel that my brain is a bit numb and I fear I may not be a good participant, Yet, I feel very alone here in these new and unfamiliar surroundings and realize I must take steps to feel some connection and not so isolated.
I loved your presentation on Mary Lincoln and found I agree with all your thoughts regarding her state of mind. You are a gifted writer and speaker. Thank you.