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"How long are you staying, Boppo?"

"Forever."

When his daughter, Amy—a gifted doctor, mother, and wife—collapses and dies from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, leave their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren: six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one-year-old James, known as Bubbies. Long past the years of diapers, homework, and recitals, Roger and Ginny—Boppo and Mimi to the kids—quickly reaccustom themselves to the world of small children: bedtime stories, talking toys, playdates, nonstop questions, and nonsequential thought. Though reeling from Amy's death they carry on, reconstructing a family, sustaining one another, and guiding three lively, alert, and tender-hearted children through the pains and confusions of grief. As he marvels at the strength of his son-in-law, a surgeon, and the tenacity and skill of his wife, a former kindergarten teacher, Roger attends each day to "the one household duty I have mastered"—preparing the morning toast perfectly to each child's liking.

With the wit, heart, precision, and depth of understanding that has characterized his work, Roger Rosenblatt peels back the layers on this most personal of losses to create both a tribute to his late daughter and a testament to familial love. The day Amy died, Harris told Ginny and Roger, "It's impossible." Roger's story tells how a family makes the possible of the impossible.

Topics: Grief and Parenting

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061969874
List price: $8.99
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Disappointing. More a journal of grieving a daughter than a constructed memoir. I found Rosenblatt's reflections emotionally shallow and wasn't at all sure why he expected me to read on.more
A beautifully crafted memoir of grief and its impact on the author's family.more
I’m so glad I didn’t read this story any sooner (since my dad died in Feb 2010) I’m not sure that I could have taken it. It’s amazing what can happen when a parent dies for the kids or a child dies before their parents. This is a story about both. Amazingly Roger and Ginny Rosenblatt live close enough to help their son-in-law Harris and their 3 grandchildren after the sudden death of their daughter, wife, mother.

It’s amazing what love can do to help you overcome anything. Grandparents become surrogate parents, aunts and uncles become new friends to help the children adapt. The most lucky thing is the children are young so that it might be easier to adjust.

Family seems to be the story of the day as they all deal with Amy’s death differently. Mom Ginny tries to help out and take her place whenever possible. Dad Roger struggles to find his place in the process. Husband Harris struggles in his own way. In the end they all do come through, but with many trials and tribulations along the way.
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Thank goodness that's over. There's no story here. Just daily details about a family.more
Read all 33 reviews

Reviews

Disappointing. More a journal of grieving a daughter than a constructed memoir. I found Rosenblatt's reflections emotionally shallow and wasn't at all sure why he expected me to read on.more
A beautifully crafted memoir of grief and its impact on the author's family.more
I’m so glad I didn’t read this story any sooner (since my dad died in Feb 2010) I’m not sure that I could have taken it. It’s amazing what can happen when a parent dies for the kids or a child dies before their parents. This is a story about both. Amazingly Roger and Ginny Rosenblatt live close enough to help their son-in-law Harris and their 3 grandchildren after the sudden death of their daughter, wife, mother.

It’s amazing what love can do to help you overcome anything. Grandparents become surrogate parents, aunts and uncles become new friends to help the children adapt. The most lucky thing is the children are young so that it might be easier to adjust.

Family seems to be the story of the day as they all deal with Amy’s death differently. Mom Ginny tries to help out and take her place whenever possible. Dad Roger struggles to find his place in the process. Husband Harris struggles in his own way. In the end they all do come through, but with many trials and tribulations along the way.
more
Thank goodness that's over. There's no story here. Just daily details about a family.more
What happens when a world renowned author loses a daughter? Usually only friends and family will hear about it. But, for Roger Rosenblatt that wasn't what he needed. He needed to try and work through the first year plus a few months by writing about his feelings and the changes in his life that occurred when middle-child, and only daughter, died from an undiagnosed heart defect. Amy was a married doctor, mother of three and loved by anyone who met her. When she died with her oldest child being only six Roger and his wife Ginny moved in with their son-in-law and the three children to try and fill a hole that broke apart the families world.

I managed to read the whole book in one day, which isn't that remarkable since it was originally written as an essay, but I also managed to read it without tears. Those came as I finished the book and realized that those three children and their father, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents still struggle daily to understand what happened and to try and move forward.

The book isn't written as a history or as a biography but as a stream of remembrances. How Amy was at six, then as a teen, the as a toddler, then as a college student. The memories are triggered often by her children. They will say or do something that reminds Roger of something Amy did that was similar or how she handled it with the oldest but that the youngest will never know.

The children play a central part in the story, from trying to help them cope with the loss of a mother to learning their day to day habits and trying to help a father who feels lost without his mate. But it is also a story about how two grandparents learn to cope with the loss of a daughter and the sudden responsibility of caring for three small children (not alone but they do take on a whole new lifestyle).

A touching, heartbreaking story and one that I'm very glad I took the time to read.

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Tiny little gem of a book that packs an emotional punch. My only complaint was the name dropping by the author of all the folks that helped or sent condolences after the death of his daughter. I get it, you are "somebody" who knows a lot of other "somebodies." Get over yourself.more
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