Author: Kathryn Clark
Author: Kathryn Clark
The loss of loved ones is emotional, riddled with questions, guilt, and helplessness as we painfully watch the suffering that he or she endures- a kind of grueling prolonged trauma.
In Echoes of the Moon, Kathryn Clark presents a poignant, powerful and life-affirming memoir as she recounts her emotional experiences with illness, death of love ones, frustrations, depressive moods, relationships, growth and transformation after witnessing within the space of a few years her father succumb to Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, and then her husband to melanoma. Interwoven into her memoir, Clark also manages to succeed in effectively blending her knowledge of Greek mythology, as well as her voyages outside of the USA that her children were permitted to choose when they reached the age of eighteen and graduated from high-school.
Well-written, heartfelt, and intelligent, Clark proves to be quite a relatable narrator that is able to fully communicate with her readers as to what was going on in her particular situation that makes sense on a universal level enabling them to easily connect to her. For those readers that may have faced a similar situation, they will easily identify with the emotional territory that Clark explores, as well as the enormity of the death of her spouse and its implications for her and her children's lives.
Echoes of the Moon is a vivid depiction of a landscape filled with grief, loss, and longing, where the author is forced to take on the formidable role of sole provider of her family and parent to her children, alone making the important decisions as to their upbringing without any input from her husband. In the end, she could be depicted as every heartbroken woman's hero, as she permits her readers to peek through her unique set of lenses while faced with the challenging experiences of emotionally supporting her father and more particularly her husband followed by the process of grieving and then developing a rite of passage for her children using her husband's life experience.
What makes this memoir really stand out is that Clark avoids overly dwelling on her loved one's diseases, their treatments, side-effects, as well as the long manifold aggravations of waiting rooms, but she does include them as part of the greater theme of her book, which is no easy feat. It would have been very easy to fall into the trap of excessively describing all sorts of unpleasantness, however, thankfully, such is not the case with this memoir. Although, readers should be forewarned that there are scenes that they may find difficult to digest, particularly where Clark describes the final stages of the dying process where her husband's body begins the end process of shutting down.
On another level, Clark's memoir raises some interesting questions concerning the loss of a spouse. For example, there is a belief that it takes an average widow several years to regain her former level of life's satisfaction. How many years is many and how do you measure life's satisfaction? How do you prepare yourself for the death of your spouse and can you ever be prepared? How do you re-enter the workforce and what can you expect when you have been absent for several years? These and many more are all questions to ponder and in fact Clark does provide at the end of the book a helpful “Reader's Guide” to provide reading groups with food for thought.
Kathryn Clark grew up near Cape Cod, Massachusetts and is a graduate in Classics from the University of California at Berkeley. She divides her time in Syros, Greece and New York with her chocolate lab and his tennis ball.
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