Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents

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Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents [Paperback]

Allison Gilbert , Christina Baker Kline
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 22, 2006
While the death of a parent is always painful, losing both is life-altering. When author Allison Gilbert lost both parents at age 32, she could not find any books that spoke to her with the same level of compassion and reassurance that she found in the support group she belonged to, so she decided to write one of her own. The result is a sensitive and candid portrayal of loss that brings together experiences from famous and ordinary grief-stricken sons and daughters that explores the regrets, heartache and sometimes, relief, that accompanies pain and healing.
Always Too Soon provides a range of intimate conversations with those — famous and not — who have lost both parents, providing readers with a source of comfort and inspiration as they learn to negotiate their new place in the world. Contributors include Hope Edelman, Geraldine Ferraro, Dennis Franz, Barbara Ehrenreich, Yogi Berra, Rosanne Cash, and Ice-T, as well as those who lost parents to the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center bombings, drunk driving, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For this compilation, Gilbert, a producer of CNN's American Morning, interviewed 20 men and women—from the ordinary to celebrities like Ice-T and Yogi Berra—who have lost both parents. The collected short memoirs are all quite moving, though the interview style leads to some pedestrian prose. The contributors' experiences vary widely. Barbara Ehrenreich's father died of Alzheimer's; her mother's premature death may have been a suicide, and she discusses the sadness that overwhelmed her in contemplating her mother's unfulfilled life. In a tragic story, journalist Jeff Gelman tells how, when he was 14, his parents were killed by a drunk driver. Singer Shelby Lynne's father shot her mother and then turned the gun on himself when Lynne was a teenager. Catheryne Ilkovic Morgan's peaceful childhood in Czechoslovakia ended when the Nazis invaded and she subsequently lost both her parents at Auschwitz. Now 76, Morgan comments that time does not heal, but that her greatest joy is to see the future generation. These stories of bereavement and consolation will strike a chord with those who have lived through the deaths of one or both parents. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"After losing her second parent in her mid-thirties, CNN producer Gilbert searched bookstores for accounts of other adult orphans. When she came up empty-handed, the seeds of this book were sown, as she began interviewing a wide variety of celebrities and regular people who lost parents to tragedies like the crash of TWA Flight 800, drunk driving, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Particularly evocative are the contributions from rapper/actor Ice-T, singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash, and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich. Included are selections by people who had difficult relationships with their parents, those who lost their parents as children, and some who candidly admit to having valued one parental relationship over the other. This often heart-wrenching collection of voices should provide the type of textual "support group" formerly absent from the literature of grief." — Library Journal

Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (November 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580051766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580051767
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST Own November 27, 2006
I was able to buy a copy of this book at a recent publicity signing and read it over the Thanksgiving holiday, around family, and it left me with such a feeling of closure and peace within myself. Each of the interviews touches upon different aspects of loss and healing and the author has woven them together so masterfully. I highly recommend the book to anyone who has lost a loved one, whether it be one parent, both parents, a sibling, grandparent, or even a dear friend. It is filled with heart-warming sentiments, deep emotion, and that part of all of us that makes us human. Enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for writing this book... December 21, 2006
Dear Ms. Gilbert,

I heard about your book on a news show here in the Chicago area. I bought it and am very grateful for your idea, thoughts and dedication in publishing this book. My Dad passed on February 4, 2005 and my Mom on September 21, 2006. They were immigrants from Ireland and far away from their families when their parents passed. I knew it was hard for them...but had no idea how hard until now. I live 700 miles from my brothers (who all lived with in 15 minutes of my parents). I felt so bad about not being close that I made sure to talk with my Mom every day and we vacationed and were together for 3 weeks a year (my time off).

My heart is broken to lose my best buddy in my Mom...and not even have my Dad anymore. Your book is helping me heal.

Kind regards and living so many fond memories of two very special people,


One week to the day of buying your book, I have finished. I began to slow down 3/4's of the way through because I think I was afraid it would end too soon. Here in this book, I found words and thoughts behind my personal feelings and then encouragement to what can come from these same feelings. It is helping take away the fear. I learned that along with the sadness, I was feeling afraid.

Thinking, after the first read, I can not pick certain chapters because even in those chapters that are so different from my own experience, I found a thought, feeling or a sentence that was similar, inspiring or insightful. I will have to read this book again because when I started last Sunday, I read like a person who was about to have their first meal in a week (I basically "gulped down the interviews").

I hope that others will find solace in your writing.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touches on universal themes of the adult orphan January 8, 2012
Though each story is different they touch on the universal themes of the adult orphan:
1. Feeling much more mature
2. Feeling 100% responsible for one's life
3. Feeling very alone and unloved
4. Feeling like a child
5. The loss of unconditional love
6. Feeling like you've lost home
7. Feeling very alone in the world and unattached
8. Feeling lost
9. Feeling so different than those who have both parents
10. Feeling a void that is never feeling
11. Feeling less protected in the world
12. Feeling a profound sense of loss, sadness, grief, abandonment
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for EVERYONE January 9, 2007
Bravo! This book was amazing... who knew commonality exists between Geraldine Ferraro & Ice-T in regards to building strength from hard times. Ms. Gilbert weaves an expert string of essays, how-to's, and wonderfully heartfelt stories for anyone who's experienced loss, or for those looking to appreciate what they have NOT lost.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very good, comforting book. I recently lost my mother. I lost my father several years ago. After you have lost both parents, you sort of feel like an orphan. This book was a comfort to me, and I would recommend it to anyone in this situation.
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