This book gets to the heart of what I teach about death and dying - that life is filled with loss and we can learn from each one and ultimately experience life more fully. These stories show that out of loss there are new beginnings. I recommend it for anyone who is struggling with loss. -- Jann Adams, Dept of Psychology, College of Idaho
Tender perspectives helping readers with their own goodbyes. If you have ever had to deal with loss, read this book. It will make you feel better. -- Christina Johns, Midwest Book Review, Oct. 18, 2010
The stories are about love, really, not sadness. Despite all the sadness and grief that come with saying goodbye, there is love and joy and comedy on the Other Side. -- Gretchen Little, Squidoo.com Lens, Oct. 29, 2010
Life is full of goodbyes. Some are painful, but some are downright humorous. Saying Goodbye is an anthology of short (true) stories about people saying goodbye to a variety of people, places and things. The authors vary as much as their subjects, and this collection does a nice job of showcasing how different people have so many different experiences with saying farewell. -- Book Nook Club, Nov. 5, 2010
"Saying Goodbye" is a great book. There are many anthologies out there, lots with great short stories, but "Saying Goodbye is about much more. It's about memories. There are heartfelt memories, humourous memories, some extremely personal memories. Some really made me smile. Others brought tears to my eyes. There are many different subjects covered too. It wasn't, as you would imagine, all about loved ones dying. There was reference to someone leaving home to flee the nest, an old sofa, a house, even favourite, well-worn, jogging pants. One of my favourites was "The Santa Sack," the story of someone moving out and getting on with his life and what the sack meant to both parent and child in sentiment. This anthology brought back memories as I read it. So much so that it has inspired me to write my own tales of Saying Goodbye. -- UK author Melanie Sherratt, High Heels and Book Deals, Nov. 22, 2010
From the Author
A note from the editors: When we put out a call for submissions for stories about "saying goodbye," we didn't know what we would get. And frankly, we were worried that the book might end up being a real downer to read! But as the stories poured in from around the world, we began to realize that "saying goodbye" is something universal that we all experience on multiple levels. Many of the stories in this collection are sad, but many are also funny--and amazingly, there is often humor in even the sad stories. In the end, Saying Goodbye
is an uplifting collection of essays that is cathartic and healing to read.
Here is an overview of the 31 essays in Saying Goodbye
- In "Bridget," a young man says goodbye to the memory of a little girl who has haunted him since childhood.
- In "The Evolution of Your Goodbyes," the author lovingly recounts visits with her father as he drifts away via Alzheimer's disease.
- In "Daddy's Request," a daughter learns that her father can sense things, even if he can't see them.
- "Intersections" traces the comings and goings of a woman, her mother, and her daughter.
- "The Sea Monster" begins with a brother and sister building sand castles on the beach, and ends with a woman who won't go back to the sea.
- "Benediction: Mom's Last Scrabble Game" tells the story of an uncanny Scrabble victory by a woman in pink bedroom slippers.
- "Love Letters" is the heart-wrenching story of a widower's decision to honor his promise to his late wife about their love letters.
- "The Skid Row Float" recounts the humorous procession of sofas that the author's family inherits from a series of lovely old great aunts.
- "Dawn" is a wonderful tribute from one strong friend to another.
- "Holding Him Softly" is an intimate look at a young woman's decision to give up her son for adoption.
- In "Dreaming as the Summers Die," an adopted daughter clings to memories of her "real" mother.
- In "The Lilac Bush," the scent of lilacs from a sidewalk stand in New York City takes the author back to the lilac bush in the backyard of her childhood home--and to memories of her mother.
- In "We Are Gathered," a wedding reminds us of those who are no longer with us--and of the importance of celebrating life.
- In "Finding the Words," a four-year-old boy impresses his mother with his grasp of the situation at a funeral.
- In "The Santa Sack," a young man leaves home, and a mother tucks away the sack that held his Christmas presents each year.
- In "A Tree of Life," children climb and a falcon roosts in a tree that sprang from ashes.
- In "At Gilda's," a woman teaches yoga at a cancer center, and learns lessons about living with disease.
- In "Ghosthouse," a woman returns to the neighborhood where she grew up, only to find her old house has gone missing!
- In "Pickles," the deliberate, joyful labor of a dying woman comes to fruition when two sisters find their mother's pickles while cleaning out her refrigerator.
- In "Memorial Day," a woman teeters between her marriage and an affair before finding purpose and a reason for "wide-eyed, deliberate living."
- In "Goodbye Upstairs," a man decides to clean house--before it's too late.
- In "Dummy Dora," a little girl has trouble saying goodbye to her pacifier.
- In "Lotus, Falling," a mother's final days are akin to "a lotus blossom falling gently to the ground."
- "Turning in My Keys" is the last act as a teacher retires after 37 years in the classroom.
- In "Saying Goodbye to a Faithful Companion," a writer laments the departure of his favorite writing outfit--and old jogging suit that his wife decides is a little too old.
- In "Puppy Love," a woman's time with her new puppy passes too quickly.
- In "The Guest in My Mother's Home," a daughter adapts to her new role as a "guest" when she returns home.
- In "The Pink Thing," you'll be delighted when the author finds the lost "pink thing"--and when you find out what the "pink thing" is!
- In "A Bloody Good Party," you can't help but admire the moxie of a man who helps plan his own funeral!
- In "The Mumo Letters," a young woman keeps her late grandmother up-to-date on family developments via a series of letters.
- In "Au Revoir Jane," a young woman learns from an older woman about how to live in style.