A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss by Danny Gregory is a very special book. It tells the story, in hand written words and hand drawn illustrations, of the death -- and life -- of his wife Patti. I asked Danny to share a few words with my readers, and this is what he had to say:
"Patti and I shared so much over the twenty-four years we were together: her paraplegia, raising our son, lots of adventure, laughs and love. When she died in a horrible accident, I had to face a completely new life and approach it day by day. "A Kiss Before You Go" is an illustrated record of our years together and my first year alone. It covers sad events but ultimately it's a book about loving and living, about beauty in its many shades. I hope reading it brings as much to you as writing it did to me."
The emotions that he conveys on these pages are painfully familiar to me and I read this book, cover to cover, in one sitting...not able to put it down. So many passages resonated deeply with me but one in particular struck home:
"A year ago they told me it would take a year to get over it. Now I know - there is no getting over it. Ever. That I will always be cracked and reglued and that no matter what new chapters I write, there will always be tearstained pages, their ink running."
This book ought to be "required reading" for every person who has lost somebody close. Danny has a gift in being able to capture and present the raw truth fearlessly and without pretense. This book is deeply personal and intimate and the details that Danny shares clearly belong only to him. And yet the words he chooses and the illustrations he creates are achingly familiar and belong to us all. That accomplishment, as a writer and an artist, is no easy feat. And this book, is not to be missed.
Sending out congratulations to Barbara Israel, winner of my recent giveaway and a signed copy of An Altered Existence by Melody Nunez!