Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss

Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss

by Lisa Romeo


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Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss by Lisa Romeo

Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound.

Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes. She also confronts death rituals, navigates new family dynamics, while living both in memory and the unfolding moment.

In this brutally honest yet compelling portrayal and tribute, Lisa searches for meaning, reconciling the Italian-American father—self-made textile manufacturer who liked newspapers, smoking, Las Vegas craps tables, and solitude—with the complex man she discovers influenced everything, from career choice to spouse.

By forging a new father-daughter “relationship,” grief is transformed to hopeful life-affirming redemption. In poignant, often lyrical prose, this powerful, honest book proves that when we dare to love the parent who challenged us most, it’s never too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943859689
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 209,575
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Lisa Romeo is part of the founding faculty in the Bay Path University MFA program, and works as a manuscript editor and consultant. Her nonfiction is among Notables in Best American Essays 2016, and is published widely in literary and popular media, including the New York Times, O The Oprah Magazine, Under the Sun, Brevity, Hippocampus, and more. Lisa is a former equestrian journalist, competitive rider, and public relations specialist. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Prologue 1

1 Last Words 3

2 The Hotel Hospital 8

3 Hard Days and Hands 20

4 What We Talk About When We Talk About Dad 35

5 No News Is Good News 47

6 At Sea in Las Vegas 55

7 What Happens in Vegas 67

8 Leaving Las Vegas 95

9 Conversations We Can and Cannot Have 116

10 The Brotherhood 132

11 Memento Mori 144

12 Crossing the Midline 164

13 A Country Full of Old Men 186

14 At Home in the World 201

15 Exit Zero 207

16 Epilogue 212

Postscript 217

Acknowledgments 219

About the Author 221

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