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What does it mean to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief? After her mother died of cancer at the age of 55, Meghan O'Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow. In the first anguished days, she began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief - its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies - an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond.
O'Rourke's story is one of a life gone off the rails, of how watching her mother's illness - and separating from her husband - left her fundamentally altered. But it is also one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss.
With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye conveys the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pamela Harvey on 04-18-11
Really great. Loved it.
O'Rourke writes with meticulous detail and creates a vivid emotional presence in this book. It could easily have been longer; every paragraph seemed worthy of expansion, and the book's not so much about loss, or about remembering the past, as it is about living in each moment and savoring the gifts contained in the present.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Taryn on 07-10-12
This was a beautifully written book about the author's journey though living with and then coming to terms with her mother's illness and subsequent death. It was not depressing to me, rather, it was eloquent and honest and gave insight into the roller coaster ride a family goes through when a loved one gets terminal cancer. Having gone through cancer with my child I could relate to so much of what she described. We thankfully had a positive outcome, but the experience changed us forever. We can choose to be changed for the better. The author uses this forum to deal with and make sense of her experience and does it in a way most of us could not articulate.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful