On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness

On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness

by Lori L. Schafer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942170037
Publisher: Lori Schafer
Publication date: 11/06/2014
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

About the Author

Lori Schafer is a writer of serious prose and humorous erotica and romance. Her flash fiction, short stories, and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications, and her first two books were published in November 2014. On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness commemorates Lori's terrifying adolescent experience of her mother's psychosis, while Stories from My Memory-Shelf: Fiction and Essays from My Past is an autobiographical collection featuring stories and essays inspired by other events from Lori's own life. In the summer of 2014, Lori began work on a second memoir, The Long Road Home, during the course of a two-month-long journey across the United States and Canada. She anticipates that it will be ready for publication in 2016.


Lori's first two novels, My Life with Michael: A Novel of Sex, Beer and Middle Age and Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-Challenged, were released early in 2015. She is currently at work on a third novel, a sequel to Just the Three of Us. When she isn't writing (which isn't often), Lori enjoys playing ice hockey, attending beer festivals, and spending long afternoons reading at the beach in the sunshine.


For further information on Lori's upcoming projects, please visit her website at http://lorilschafer.com, where you may subscribe to her newsletter or follow her blog. You are also welcome to email her directly at lorilschafer(at)outlook(dot)com.

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On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite On Learning of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened by Lori L Schafer is the true and heartfelt account of what it was like to grow up with a mother who, although in the early years was an average, stable parent, steadily descends into madness. Not written in chronological order, each chapter highlights an episode illustrating ways in which the author’s mother behaved irrationally, from believing her dead father was hiding in the ceiling, to spying on her ex-husband and his mother from a cupboard after she’d entered their house illegally. These outlandish episodes escalate to the extent that the author feared for her own life, and her mother often threatened her. Schafer shares with us the humiliation of living as a teenager, laughed at by her school friends when her mother sat outside the classroom for every lesson after dying her hair bright green. Lori Schafer was known as the daughter of Judy Green-Hair. A few friends did stand by her and she acknowledges their help in finally enabling her to escape. Bravely she waited until after graduation and drove to the next state, but she was always fearful that her mother would find her and drag her back. I chose to read this book as I thought I could connect with the author and I did. I hope other readers will understand why it is not easy to run away from the only home you have, however terrible it might be. As it’s explained so well in this book, we are conditioned from birth to love, obey, respect and believe our parents. When they start acting in ways that don’t make sense, the confusion is enormous. It was only much later that Schafer questioned her mother’s sanity and attempted to put a name to it. I would like to recommend that this book be on the prescribed reading list in schools as there are thousands, maybe millions (myself included) who live in constant bewilderment, fear, and desperation, whose mothers are unpredictable and even dangerous. A well deserved 5 stars.
SherreyM More than 1 year ago
"The child does not question, the child believes in the supremacy and the certainty of the parent, the child trusts. The child does what she is told." ~ Lori Schafer in On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened (Kindle Loc. 456) Lori Schafer is an expressive and passionate writer. Considering the subject of her memoir, On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened, the reader would expect expression and passion. Yet, the essence of Lori's writing is not based in the subject. Lori is a gifted writer. It does not matter what she is writing; her gift is in the craft and she is expressive and passionate about everything she writes. On Hearing of My Mother's Death ... is a herculean and intense read for such a short book. A mother who is a professional marrier encumbered with mental illness, something a child doesn't grasp, leads a life burdensome and frightening for her children. An older sister has left home, and Lori is left to fend for herself. By age 17, she is living on the streets. Lori addresses the structure of her storytelling in a foreword. But it is the only structure I believe would have worked with Lori's story. Told in flashbacks and present day, alternating as memories fluctuate, Lori organizes her story in the way a child would remember. Often Gloria, whom I believe is Lori's inner child, tells much of the story making the structure reasonable. The reader joins Lori as she watches her mother sink into the depths of mental illness, a specific diagnosis never given. It could have been any one of a number of mental illnesses, but the never-changing impact on the lives of her children were neglect and cruelty resulting in fear, side effects of the ravages of their mother's untreated mental illness. To hear the level of fear and the horrid conditions in which she lived is to join Lori on a most difficult journey. Years after leaving home Lori receives a letter from her mother: "That fear, it never quite went away. And when my mother wrote to me the second time, a decade and a half later [circa 2006], I was almost more afraid than I had been the first time. I'd just begun dating a man who had two young children. I had nightmare visions of her appearing on his doorstep with a butcher knife or worse. I sent out warnings to everyone I knew. Judy Green-Hair is back. Watch your step. Because you never know; you just can't ever predict what someone with an untreated psychotic illness might decide to do." ~ Lori Schafer, On Hearing of My Mother's Death (Kindle Loc. 865) This is only one example of Lori's continuing fear surrounding her mother and her untreated illness. It is hard to imagine living this way for so long. And yet, Lori survived. I cannot leave you without sharing one last quote from Lori's book: "... And while our individual experiences vary, the emotions are the same. We all hurt. We all have fear. We all have pain. But we all, too, have strength. We have power. Even the weakest and meekest show us glow and shine with the light of hope, the light of life. We try, we fight, we strive. We endure. We survive." ~ Lori Schafer, On Hearing of My Mother's Death (Kindle Loc. 1559) Recommendation: If you are writing memoir or want to write memoir, I urge you to read this one. Lori's writing style, character development, and scene building is exceptional. Her passion and expression when telling her story is real. These are the tools of your craft if you write memoir. Or if you simply enjoy reading the life stories of others, Lori's memoir is for you too. To read of Lori's life and know that she survived it is inspirational and encouraging.