Literature Annotations


Lagomarsino, Nancy
Light from an Eclipse


Genre Memoir (126 pp.)
KeywordsAging, Caregivers, Communication, Death and Dying, Dementia, Disease and Health, Empathy, Family Relationships, Father-Daughter Relationship, Grief, Human Worth, Illness and the Family, Love, Memory, Mother-Daughter Relationship, Mourning, Ordinary Life, Suffering
Summary

In poetry and prose the writer chronicles her father's final months as Alzheimer's disease progressively seals him into a world where those who love him can't follow. Each short segment details a moment on the writer's journey as witness to his losses: moments of confusion--his and her own, uncertainty about appropriate diplomacy, invention of new activities and rituals to keep him linked to love and alive.

With sure, spare language, she sketches in her own memories, bits of family stories, irrational feelings, the different way she comes to look at home, at family relationships, even at familiar objects. More a song than a story, the collection of vignettes offers both comfort and realism to those on similar journeys of slow loss.

Commentary

Though the collection is number 8 in the Marie Alexander Poetry Series, much of it, though poetic, is prose. Short lyric poems are interspersed among one-to three-page sketches, each offering material for reflection on what one writer has called a "complex sorrow." The book thus provides a helpful complement to more practical works for those living with Alzheimer's patients. It is a gift, especially to adults who find themselves surprised into a kind of grief at slow loss whose pain is amplified by uncertainty and estrangement.

PublisherWhite Pine Press
Edition2005
Place PublishedBuffalo, N.Y.
Annotated by McEntyre, Marilyn Chandler
Date of Entry 08/11/05
Last Revised 08/15/05