I was 24 when my mother died, and 26 when my father passed away. Because of that catastrophe, I lost the family home and any stability I ever counted on. It was the greatest disaster of my life, and years later that fact has not changed.
This book is about dealing with the death of a parent when you are somewhere in your 20s, and is an autobiographical recounting of what I went through. In the aftermath, I made many bad decisions, but mostly I did not make any decisions at all.
I have tarted this book many times over. I never knew where to begin, even though the most basic advice given to any writer is “begin at the beginning.” When you are talking about the death of your parents, though, where is the beginning? When you were born? When you first remember them in your childhood? When you realized they were mortal, or dying, or already dead?
Where is the beginning of the end to your whole life?
Yet, I always come back to trying to start this book, because back in 1996 I really needed it and it did not exist. I was twenty-six and had lost everything, which is not quite hyperbole: at the end of the most trying three years of my life I had lost my mother, my father, one of my cats, my home and nearly everything in it, and both of my family’s dogs. It was more than a little traumatic, the description of which words utterly fail to convey.