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Life's That Way Paperback – Bargain Price, April 6, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beaver, an actor, playwright and film historian, collects a series of riveting, heartfelt e-mails chronicling the courageous cancer battle of his beloved wife, Cecily, from her diagnosis of lung cancer to her death in little over a year. Unafraid to examine their life together and his acting career as a performer on two popular TV dramas, the role of Ellsworth on Deadwood and Bobby Singer on Supernatural, he kept family and friends informed with his nightly online messages of Cecily's deteriorating status and the bittersweet childhood of their autistic daughter, Maddie. The revealing e-mails depict the somber travail of Beaver on the horrific death watch of his wife, and detail the roller-coaster ride of emotion from hoping for a speedy halt to the disease's onslaught to experiencing the dark abyss of loss. After the death of his father during this time, he writes: This year of writing has freed me from the shackles I don't know I could have borne otherwise. While this cancer memoir often chills the reader to the core with pain and frustration, it offers countless reasons to cheer Beaver as a remarkable man, a loving husband and a responsible single parent. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425232506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425232507
  • ASIN: B003WUYRWW
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was edited from an email journal actor Jim Beaver (Deadwood, Supernatural, Harper's Island) wrote each night for a year in 2003-4 to keep family and friends informed about his wife Cecily's desperate fight against cancer, and after her loss, about how he and his very young daughter Maddie continued on with their lives. There is grief here, together with brutally raw and honest pain, anger, fear, helplessness, guilt, and despair - but there is also joy, laughter, and hope, and most of all, there is love: Jim's love for his wife and daughter, their love for him, and the amazing outpouring of love and help from family, friends, and even strangers who responded to Cecily's struggle and its impact on others.

For anyone dealing with love and loss, this book has hope to offer and lessons in life to teach, all without a word of preaching. If you've loved and lost someone - parent, spouse, child, friend, lover - you've felt what's in this book, and reading it might help bring you healing, if only by letting you know that you are not alone in what and how you feel and by giving you the means and words to talk about it. I'm watching my mother being stolen by Alzheimer's, and this book speaks to me even in the midst of ongoing loss. Read it, and take comfort.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Life's That Way: A Memoir

I thought this book would be sad,but i wasn't expecting the moving love story. It was the most beautifully written,love letter to his dear Pie. It was sad,but uplifting in that no matter how much we grief we still LOVE. It was a true tribute not only to her,but to their love.I know through this book his daughter will gain the greatest insight into what a beautiful woman his dear Pie really was.

It was also very heartfelt in how he dealt with not only the cancer but in being a single parent. I know any parent reading this book will understand the great love and fear he had for his daughter and in his ability to be the parent she deserved.

This book should be in everyone's home!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book via Marquita Herald’s Website, Emotionally Resilient Living, where she quoted him. I’ve long been a Jim Beaver fan via the TV show, Supernatural, but, neglectfully, had never researched him to discover that he is also a writer.

This book is one to be read in small doses. I started it in February and took until May to finish.

It is the unembellished near-nightly emails that Mr. Beaver shared with an ever-expanding group of family and friends when his wife, Cecily, was diagnosed with cancer. It takes us through the journey of her treatment for the six or so months leading up to her death and then beyond, into the story of survival.

It is hard to read this book because for anyone who has experienced intense grief, his open, Band-Aid-has-been-pulled-off, writing style digs directly into your heart and makes you feel. All over again or anew or still or wherever your heart is in your grieving. You will ride those waves again and identify with his descriptions of loss and courage and succumbing to your emotions over and over.

My edition has dog-eared pages, highlighted passages and dated notes scribbled in the margins. One phrase repeatedly resounds, “…nothing I’ve picked up from the grief of others in the course of my life has prepared me for what this feels like.” I couldn’t agree more.

Another passage that struck with full force is: “But I recall thinking then that the loneliest place on earth was an empty house from which someone had deliberately left you. Not true. The loneliest place on earth is an empty house from which someone was taken from you.”

In chapter twelve, he speaks of pushing himself to listen to a passage of music that had been a favorite shared with his wife.
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Jim Beaver, of Supernatural (Bobby Singer), really puts it out there with this wonderful memoir. I felt as if I were actually there, participating with him and Cecily, traveling along their journey of life and death, acceptance, anger, and mostly love. It brought me to tears on numerous occasions, either from laughing so hard, or from feeling sadness. Jim really hits this out of the park, as far as I am concerned, and as the synopsis reads on the back of the book, "Even the hardest lessons contain great gifts." I recommend this to everyone.
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I read several books before and after my husband died of lung cancer in 2011.I wish I had found this book earlier than I did. Jim Beaver is absolutely stunning writer. If I find a good book I tend to read it within a few days. When I started reading this, I was at that place again, my husbands diagnosis , treatments etc. That was not a bad thing.It eased my soul to know that someone else had felt and went through the pain, confusion and anger. He helped me see that I did do my best, where I had doubted myself, to read that he had experienced everything and had gotten to the other side. His bravery, where I felt weak.The feeling of helplessness was not mine alone. Questioning every single thing you do, he made me see through his words that the best we can do and the best we can hope for is to love,and give our spouses dignity that they deserve.As much as we want to hold them and fight any thing that is hurting them we can not. One thing he wrote of was trying to decide what to do with the ash residue that is left when you sprinkle the ashes.I thought I was the only that worried about it. Could not throw it away, did not know what to do. Asked family, friends no one knew. When Jim wrote about putting water in the bag and pouring it on his wife's rose bushes. I was so relieved I had truly felt alone in this. Mr. Beaver thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cried a lot but they were cleansing tears. Memories I had forgotten were brought back in a rush. I also laughed hard to believe I know. But it is true. If you or someone you love is facing or have gone thru this, buy this for them. You will not regret it.
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