Memoirs and Grief

Monday, July 05, 2010

Memoirs and Grief
"If You Knew Suzy" by Katherin Rosin came up as a choice of one of my book clubs and I knew immediately, it was a conversation in which I wanted to participate. Being close to finishing my own memoir, I am devouring other memoirs like my favorite sweet & salty popcorn. I can't stop myself!

Rosin's memoir chronicles the journey she walked with her mother as she battled lung cancer and her subsequent decision to write about her. One of the interesting perspectives I drew from this book is the difference between wanting a carefully researched book as Rosin did and my own approach to memoir which was that I wanted Truth with a capital T but was not concerned that every fact be in indisputable, impartial fact. Rosin's goal was to present a factual picture of who her mother was. My goal is to present a truthful picture of my own journey in life. My goal is based on my experience not research.

Another serendipity in Rosin's book is finding the comfort she discovered in Rev. John Claypool's writings. Claypool was a acquaintance with whom I shared many mutual friends in Baptist and Kentucky life. And having buried two husbands and more recently my son, I am far too familiar with grief writing. Ironically, it was Claypool's writing about the lose of his child that I turned to after the death of my second husband. Rosin's book has reminded me to revisit his work now in the wake of my own son's death.

One final thought on Rosin's book: as written on this blog, I was mother to my mother. As I read about Rosin's love and relationship with her mother, it made me grieve again for what I never had. Thank you, Katie Rosin, for an enlightening memoir experience!  

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of If You Knew Suzy by Katherine Rosman as member of the From Write to Left Book Club, which was created as a continuation of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog Book Club. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. You can purchase a copy of "If You Knew Suzy" at the link below.


updated: 7 years ago



Katie RosmanTuesday, July 6th 2010 10:28PM

Thank you for such a beautiful post. I have heard from a number of people who know or know of Rev Claypool. I continue to be comforted by his words.

SharonTuesday, July 6th 2010 1:05PM

Reading Rosman's book 'If You Knew Suzy' seems to bring our attention to many of our relationships, not just the ones we had with our mothers. I felt her writing was bring her comfort after her loss, which is always something we need when a loved one dies. Hopefully your memoirs are doing the same for you.

Thanks, ChannelingRicky, for your insightful comments. Yes, I think memoir writing can bring healing for grief but if that is the sole purpose of the writing, I think there would be one reader---the writer. Rosman is also a fabulous reporter and researcher which added immensely to her book.

I hope the added value beyond the grief work in my book will be my entire journey through a challenging life which offers six pathways that can work for surviving and thriving. Stay tuned for publication!