I Could Never Say Goodbye

( 70 )

Overview

This inspiring memoir chronicles Ms. Longfellow's experience with the deaths of her parents--the quick, traumatic death of her father and the lengthy illness preceding her mother's passing. The trauma of her father's death led her to plan and prepare for her mother's passing, transforming the experience from one of abject loss to a serenity and beauty. Additionally, the author reconciled her thoughts and feelings about her own mortality. She writes of learning to take part in, be present and be transformed by the...
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Overview

This inspiring memoir chronicles Ms. Longfellow's experience with the deaths of her parents--the quick, traumatic death of her father and the lengthy illness preceding her mother's passing. The trauma of her father's death led her to plan and prepare for her mother's passing, transforming the experience from one of abject loss to a serenity and beauty. Additionally, the author reconciled her thoughts and feelings about her own mortality. She writes of learning to take part in, be present and be transformed by the end-of-life experience. In her journey, she discovered routine moments in her parents' last days presented opportunities to create personal rituals and ceremonies to honor the final stage of life. She came to understand that what matters most is how we say goodbye to our loved ones. The author writes, "I have said my final goodbyes to my parents so many times that I now realize there will be no final goodbye. With each page of I Could Never Say Goodbye, I say "hello" and "goodbye" to my parents one more time. I share my experiences in an open, meaningful and caring manner, so readers will come away with a new appreciation for the mysteries, pains, and yes, joys of being an active participant in a loved one's transition from this earth."
As she shared her story with others who struggled with the dilemma of what to do and how to cope when their loved ones were dying, Ms. Longfellow realized that her experiences provided comfort and guidance that made a difference. Eventually, more and more people came to her for advice. She knew she had to write her story to motivate and inspire others to create their own rituals and learn to say goodbye in their own ways. Ms. Longfellow tells the story of how one family came together to honor their parents' final stage of life. It's a compelling tale that will resonate with readers.
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Editorial Reviews

Joan Anderson
"In a culture that ducks out on death, Joyce Anne Longfellow illuminates the stunning last moments of her mother and father's death—showing us the value of BEING THERE and how to honor and ritualize the most significant of life's passages. Rather than deny or avoid, we are invited to partake in the profound experience that comes with final moments. By embracing her story we are preparing ourselves for such inevitable moments in our own lifetime."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985477608
  • Publisher: Lolly's Legacy, L.L.C.
  • Publication date: 4/2/2012
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 520,283
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Anne Ware Longfellow is a renaissance woman: author, executive, philanthropist, teacher, photographer, professional mentor, global volunteer, business owner, international speaker, world traveler, and wilderness adventurer. I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter’s Journey to the End of Life with Dad and Mom is her first book.

She lives in Tempe, Arizona surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – who think it’s normal to have a mother/grandmother who climbs mountains to photograph gorillas, follows her heart, embraces change, and still finds time to oversee her business - Children’s Dental Village.

For more information, visit www.icouldneversaygoodbye.com or www.joycelongfellow.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Many have asked me to explain WHY I wrote the book. Here's my re

    Many have asked me to explain WHY I wrote the book. Here's my reply: I grew up in a family that would not talk about death. When death happened we got a phone call, or telegram, or I ended up standing next to the closed casket or grave marker of someone I loved - always wondering where was Grandma, or Aunt Shirley, or Grandpa Barrows. So when my mother waited too long to let me know that my father was dying, I mostly understood that she was carrying forth the tradition of our family. Conversations about death and dying were shrouded in secrecy. So I only had three days with Dad before he died. I crammed as much into those days as I could - to honor the man I treasured. He thought I could "fix" him as I had pulled out of so many near death moments in my own life. But when I told him I could not fix him - that indeed I had come to stay with him until he died - he believed me. Three days after my arrival he crossed to the other side on Father's Day. The moment the mortuary van pulled away with his still-warm body, I vowed that given the opportunity with Mom, her last days would be different.
    I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Journey to the End of Life with Dad and Mom is the story of two deaths - my experience with my father's sudden, unexpected, and too-soon passing and how Mom and I approached her last days differently. With the assistance of Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ - Mom and I along with our entire family participated in one of the most amazing journeys to the end of her life. This book documents our story along with how my life transformed in the process. Readers will find some parts quite humorous, others emotional, and for those who love adventure, the book tells about my climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro with my parents ashes. Only two of us made it to the top. My hope is that this book will find those readers who may feel uncomfortable engaging in conversations about death and dying - of their loved ones and even their own end-of-life thoughts. The fact is that none of us will get off the planet alive. And for some who suffer from seemingly incurable illnesses/disease, we need to understand that death is often the final and only healing. I learned how to let go of holding on to letting go. By the end of the story, you will think and feel differently about death and dying.

    38 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    This is a must-read book for anyone who has lost a loved one or

    This is a must-read book for anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered along with a dying parent, spouse,child or friend. Longfellow learned from her experience with her father's death that she wanted, needed to be prepared for her mother's passing--whenever that might be. She shares stories of her little gifts and ceremonies such as buying 62 daffodil bulbs which she planted the day her mom died. She knew that each spring she'd remember their lives and love when they were together. I was inspired to anticipate my own parent's death, to plan our time together...whenever that may be. Read this book. You'll be glad you did.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    When will the phone ring next...with the news of a friend or lo

    When will the phone ring next...with the news of a friend or loved one who is nearing death?
    We never know!!!
    Very few writers have taken the time and vulnerability to share their journey to death's door with
    their closest loved ones..
    When my mother in law died, she asked me to 'hold the gates open' for her as she left this earth.
    I think it was her way of saying...be there for me...I will need you!
    And, we all need others in our personal journeys to death's gates.
    You will learn much as you share this journey for your own life!!

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them

    “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves.” Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel This is one of those stories that feeds the soul because it reminds us of the divine spirit that resides within and connects all of us. And it is an example of the beauty of our human spirit when we are broken open by death's grace to love with all of our hearts. Read this story for yourself, but more importantly read it for those you love, so you might hold their hand and accompany them without fear to the threshold of life's closing sacred passage.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    I read this book in one sitting and felt as if Joyce Anne Ware L

    I read this book in one sitting and felt as if Joyce Anne Ware Longfellow was sitting right next to me with a cup of tea. It's a sincere glimpse into the life her parents created for her and the end-of-life rituals she created for them. Each swipe of the page revealed just how important it is to create traditions and to share them with those we love. I am grateful to the author for sharing her story.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    Love it!

    What a wonderful book! You are such an amazing author! Truly enjoyed it.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Thank you.

    Death, specifically dying of disease, has always been my biggest fear and I have never been able to talk about it. I think that stems from the death of a very close family member just before I was born. My family had to put that away and the easiest way to deal with it was to not talk about it.

    After reading this book, I've realized how important it is to TALK ABOUT IT. I am not as afraid.

    Thank you.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    This is an amazing story by an amazing author and a must read fo

    This is an amazing story by an amazing author and a must read for anyone and everyone. To read of Joyce Anne's journey through her parent's death is eye-opening and inspiring. Thanks, Joyce Anne for such a moving story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    What Joyce has written is amazing........she had to go through s

    What Joyce has written is amazing........she had to go through so much to arrive on the other side to be able to write about this subject. She illustrates how beautiful the transition from life to death can be. Many lives will be changed by this book. I recommend it to anyone either curious about the subject or someone going through that difficult time witha loved one.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    CONGRATS! I get to be the FIRST to say this is an incredible bo

    CONGRATS! I get to be the FIRST to say this is an incredible book that EVERYONE should buy! No one is getting out of here alive and during our journey on earth everyone will face the death of their friends and family. And this book tells you about several journey's to the END and how Joyce Anne's experience's can help you with your loss or any future losses! MUST READ!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Wow! In today's world is it so refreshing to hear how someone d

    Wow! In today's world is it so refreshing to hear how someone dealt with death so honestly. Even though there was terrific pain and despair there was much joy and release. If we do not face the pain we cannot feel the joy or especially the release. This book will be helpful to all of us as we face the inevitable spector of death.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2012

    I was privileged to walk with Joyce Anne during the loss of both

    I was privileged to walk with Joyce Anne during the loss of both her Dad and her Mom. She needed to tell her/their stories. I feel blessed to have been with her on this journey.

    Having recently lost my friend/sister-in-law, Jo, to an untimely and unexpected death I was grateful that I could draw upon the wisdom Joyce Anne shared with me through her journey and through this book. It so helped to provide the courage needed to have those difficult discussions about death and dying with family and friends. We don't know when their time or ours will come.

    Joyce Anne opens up a dialogue about death and dying and does so in such a heartfelt way that you will walk away with your own heart full of a peacefulness and courage to have those much needed conversations. Read her book - we each need some peace surrounding this topic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    An amazing story that will touch your soul!

    This book is for anyone of every generation who has experienced a loss. Death is a subject that in many ways is pushed aside in our society, pushed aside for the need to feel young and beautiful. Dying is a part of life that nobody can run and hide from and I find it comforting to be able to share within my family the feelings of grief and loss that we have experienced. It helps us to move on and live life as if tomorrow may be our "One more day" that we have to live. Anyone can relate to the stories of Joyce Anne's losses of her mother and father, and the powerful way it allowed her to find herself in her parents. Everyone deserves to self reflect and live the life they've always longed to live!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    I know several people that not only will benefit from this book,

    I know several people that not only will benefit from this book, but NEED this book. Losing someone close is always tragic, but joyce gives us a different view on dealing with the death of a loved one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    Joyce Anne pours her heart and soul into a remarkable book about

    Joyce Anne pours her heart and soul into a remarkable book about the end of life experiences with her parents. Her spirituality, wisdom, an courage is there for all of us to experience through her words and stories in this book. Times of sadness, pain, humor, love, and more are there to help us create our own way of sharing special moments with loved ones who are dying. Moments where we all can feel the love and peace when saying goodbye.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    What a well written and heartfelt story about an experience that

    What a well written and heartfelt story about an experience that we all must go through at some time in our lives. I recommend it to everyone - especially if you plan to use hospice for end of life help with someone you love. You will learn that it is necessary to think about death, how you want the experience to be for yourself and those you love. It is possible to create an meaningful experience with ceremony and love. Thanks for sharing your personal experience so that others may gain from it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    This long awaited book is a gift to all of us.....JoyceAnne's wi

    This long awaited book is a gift to all of us.....JoyceAnne's wisdom and insights will inspire many.....I am delighted to read the book, to experience and learn from her journey.....her book is a gift to the world on this important passage in life..

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    A hidden gem...

    This is a must read for anyone dealing with or anticipating the loss of a loved one. Death is a scary and sensitive topic in our society. Thank you to the author for stepping out on a ledge and providing a message that needs to be heard.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Thank you for writing and publishing this book. It's such an imp

    Thank you for writing and publishing this book. It's such an important subject. Death and dying can so be difficult to talk about. Having lost my Step-Mother and Grandmother in the last two years, I've learned more than I ever thought I would about saying goodbye. It's important for us to share our stories so others can learn from our experiences. Thanks for doing just that, Joyce.

    David Schapira
    Arizona State Senator

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    "I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Journey to the End

    "I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Journey to the End of Life with Dad and Mom” takes an unflinching look at one of our most steadfast cultural shadow topics. In creating the opening to talk about her precious loved parents’ deaths, she facilitates an environment for others to not only walk through, but transform from, their own experiences of death. This book is beautifully written and intensely personal while inviting the reader to enter in with his or her own stories of love and ritual, remembrance and pain. As a psychologist, working with those struggling with grief over losing loved ones, this book teaches how to heal rather than mask necessary feelings. “I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Journey to the End of Life with Dad and Mom” takes us through the liminal space of love, pain, hope, freedom and openness to possibility."

    Sally Anne Broder, Psy.D. Psychologist San Francisco, Ca

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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