And do you also know that Dad already purchased his headstone and had it engraved with his name and birthday and placed next to yours? He’s counting the days until he joins you. Some days it’s like he already has. I wish I knew what to do for him. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me at the shivah [the weeklong mourning period in Judaism during which people offer their condolences to the bereaved] and said, ‘Take care of your dad.’ I’m trying, Mom, I really am. I wish we had talked about this before you died.
I wish you could have told me how to deal with his sorrow. It seems like he’s trying to be more in your world than mine.
“Okay, this isn’t working for me, Mom. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you are here, and I’m sorry you are not here. I’m sorry that despite ten years of Hebrew school, I don’t have strong enough clarity or faith to know for sure where you are. And I’m deeply sorry for feeling this, Mom, but I’m sorry you died before Dad.
“I will keep looking for you. I’m leaving now. Good-bye, Mom.”
As I walked back to my car, a part of me knew I was engaged in magical thinking and a part of me didn’t.
Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.
With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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