“Many memoirs of loss are limited by the author's understanding at the time of the events. Caitlin Garvey recognizes this, and in her post-mortem journey seeks to find who her mother was (alive and dead) to others. In graceful language devoid of sentimentality, Garvey takes us to the people who knew her mother in ways she never could. If this sounds grim, it isn't--there's a hilarious moment with a hospice nurse. Garvey is an honest, clear-eyed chronicler of her journey of grieving and collecting stories about her mother, who died of inflammatory breast cancer. At the same time this is Garvey's own story of living with mental illness and making her way in the world.
The Mourning Report
(Homebound Publications, 2020)
Years after her mother's death from breast cancer, Caitlin decided to embark on a “grief journey,” interviewing the people involved in her mother’s dying process: a hospice nurse, a priest, an estate planner, a hairstylist, and a funeral director. If she figured out how they could function after being so close to her mother’s death, then maybe she could learn how to navigate her own life.
“I cried more times than I can count while reading this book, but I also laughed and marveled at Garvey’s honesty. She has dared to tell the truth about grief, anxiety, and the seemingly impossible task of living on after loss. The Mourning Report is an unforgettable portrait of a mother and daughter, and something truly rare—a meditation on death that is filled with life.”