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“The Art of Reassembly: A Memoir of Early Mother Loss and Aftergrief” is a Journey of Joy, Grief, and Discovery


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Released earlier last month, “The Art of Reassembly” is a book that was an emotional journey for me. The author’s story of the loss of her mother at a young and its effect on her life even decades later hit home. I recently lost my dad (May of this year). While I was an adult when it happened, I still found many similarities in her stories and experiences of my own.

Peg Conway, the author, sent me an advanced copy of this book along with a precious note of condolences on losing my father. I’ve spent the last several weeks reading small portions of this beautiful work and taking breaks to let the emotions sit for a while. She takes a gentle hand in expressing her losses and their effect on her life’s experience in this book.

It is a worthwhile read for anyone who has lost someone or knows someone who has had a parental loss.

Me holding a copy of “The Art of Reassembly” while on a cruise for my 40th birthday.

If your mom is dead, is she still your mom? At twenty-five—nearly two decades after losing my mother to breast cancer as a little girl—an accident on a downtown street unleashes startling emotional reactions, and this question starts to percolate. I come to understand what I’m experiencing as long-buried childhood grief. As I marry and become a mother, intense feelings challenge my capacity for self-compassion.

Gradually I confronted how growing up surrounded by silence in a family that moved on from sorrow had caused me to suppress my mother’s memory for far too long. Ultimately, after excavating all the layers, I find my mom again, and in the process discover that truth, no matter how painful, heals.

Peg Conway (Author)

Have you lost a parent? How did you grieve the loss?


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