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Grief Looks Different For Everyone

Lucy Layne
Lucy Layne Author Interview

Dead Mom Disease is a heart-felt memoir about the loss of a loved one and the roller-coaster of emotions that come with it. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I always wanted to be a writer, but I never wanted to be an author. I can’t tell you how many times people told me I should write a book, and my answer never changed – I didn’t want to. In college, I had an assignment in a lit class. We had three or four options of the type of project we would turn in. One of them was to write the first three or four chapters of our autobiography. That option is the only one that I had any interest in, and I didn’t even think about the subject – my sister and I had coined the term, “Dead Mom Disease,” a few years prior, and we already floated around the idea of using it for a book title. A few years after I graduated, I was offered a freelance job to edit a book. That’s what made me realize that I could absolutely write a book. I guess the only reason I never really wanted to before was because I didn’t think I could. So, was it important in the sense that I set a goal for myself to write the book, and I wanted to accomplish it? Yes. But, I never really thought of writing the book “Dead Mom Disease” as something that was important for me to do – it was more like I wanted to write a book, and it was only natural that this is the story I would tell.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

I hope, whether it’s through my book or any other means, more people start to realize that grief looks different for everyone and that it lasts forever.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you lost your mother?

Honestly … nothing. I had all of the advice I needed. What I didn’t have was the understanding. For a while, I wished that I had listened to more people – about how time is precious and not to take people for granted. But you just can’t understand some things until you have experienced them. I was a kid. Of course there are things I would have done differently then if I knew what I knew now, but I think pretty much everyone can say that about everything.

My mom’s advice was always, “Follow your heart.” And my dad has always reminded me that “There’s a time for everything.” I have carried these two pieces of advice everywhere with me since I was a small child, and they will go with me to my grave.

What was the writing process like for you to complete this book?

Well, it was a process, that’s for sure. It was interesting, fun, sad, weird, eye-opening, educational, and so much more. While writing the book, it’s as if my mind was subconsciously aware that I was working on something, so it was bringing all of these memories to the surface. I remembered things I had long forgotten, realized I forgot things I never thought I would, it made me curious about things I never questioned before, it forced me to face a lot of darkness, and it made me so proud to hold the finished manuscript in my hand. It was something that I put a lot of effort into, and I was motivated to do it even though I had no idea what I would do once I was done writing it. It also taught me how important it is to define goals, make plans to achieve them, and hold yourself accountable. I used to wonder how people wrote books, and now I know – the same way anyone does anything … you have to start.

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Dead Mom Disease is the memoir of a girl whose mom died. It’s about her life with a mom, her life without a mom, and the imperfectly perfect balance between her two lives. It’s about the world. It’s about society and culture and the way people treat people. It’s about not saying “I’m sorry” automatically when someone says, “My mom died.” It’s about how condolences don’t come in the form of words from the people who matter, from the people who mean them. They come encased in gut-wrenching tears and embraces that nuclear weapons couldn’t break. It’s about pain and grieving. It’s about life and moving on. But mostly, it’s about death and what that really means.

Dead Mom Disease

Dead Mom Disease by [Lucy Layne]

Dead Mom Disease, by Lucy Layne, is a memoir of a teenager who talks about a rather uncomfortable topic for most people – Death, especially the death of a mother. In this book, she narrates her experience witnessing her mother die, of living without a mother after her death, of how grief makes people uncomfortable so they offer you advice to be happy when you don’t want to be happy, and the never-ending process of grieving. She tells us about the gut-wrenching moment of losing a loved one and of life, all through her own thought-provoking words. It also talks about the all-encompassing maternal love and how the balance of life can never be restored after the death of a mother.

Lucy Layne writes honestly and unapologetically about a topic that makes people leave the table when it is brought up. The death of a loved one is a dark topic and people are afraid of the dark. It takes courage to introspect on one’s dark feelings and then write about them with openness and humility.

The author was very realistic in narrating a painful death experience. She moves through the book while capturing the lasting process of grief very aptly. She takes you through the various emotions of anger, denial, depression, deep sadness, and finally acceptance and how these emotions are a necessary part of experiencing the death of a loved one. The book provides a glimpse into a terrifying reality but also reassures you that even after such an abysmal moment in life, you will still survive.

Another critical aspect of the book is how important it is to let the bereaved grieve. Grief is unavoidable in such a circumstance and to take that moment of sadness away from the bereaved can be very damaging on both a mental and physical level. While society fixates on being happy, a person with a great loss must go through grief slowly to provide a channel for emotions to flow out. This is important to get back into the routine of life.

Lucy Layne’s narration feels personal, like you are not alone in this grief. This book makes you cry and laugh as well. It’s not a depressing tale, but rather an uplifting and insightful one. It gives you honest details of what the death of a loved one feels like and brings you solace through shared human experiences of tragedy, joy, tenderness, fear, and love.

Pages: 146 | ASIN: B07KVHMYDN

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