Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss by Danny Gregory

Artist Danny Gregory lost his wife Patti in a tragic accident almost 2 years ago.  He used his journals over the next year to work through his grief, and this book is the result.  There is some background over how they met and their life together, including an earlier accident that put her in a wheelchair.  There is Danny's artwork and thoughts and feelings about continuing his life without her.  The passage that struck me the most and has stayed with me was this one:

The big things that have changed are not the ones I feared. I thought it would be all about having someone to hug and kiss, a hand to hold, eyes to stare into, maybe just someone who would always get my jokes, indulge my point of view.

But it's all the things that Patti did in her life that were melded into mine that have left me like a one-armed man. Running our house, the practical aspects of our lives, what sort of garbage bags to buy, who to invite for dinner, where to spend the summer, when to pay the mortgage.

Every day is filled with a thousand things we would discuss. How does this shirt look? What should we have for dinner? What do we buy my sister for her birthday? Should we repaint the hall? How do I deal with my boss? Do you like this sentence? Am I a good person?

I'd pick up the phone, send a text or an email, every hour or two, just to stay in touch, to course correct. Now. over and over again, I find myself starting to dial, then I drop the phone, realizing my mistake, that Patti's unable to come to the phone right now, Patti's not home.

I've been trying to share my life . . .

. . . but now it belongs to me alone.

 It is at times heartbreaking and at times hopeful. I rate it 5 out of 5.


Kathy A. Johnson said...

Cheryl--Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I did not know he had lost his wife, how sad. I have really enjoyed his other books, and I know this one would be worthwhile to read.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Dany Gregory is one of my heros, due to his other books. You gave a sensitive review of a sensitive & poignant book.

Timaree said...

I didn't realize he'd written the new book. I'll have to get it. I've enjoyed his other ones.

Sara said...

Alice K loaned me a couple of his books at QA week 2, I've ordered his book oCreative License and really look forward to getting it.