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The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses

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Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side. An empathetic read, The Dead Mom Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side. An empathetic read, The Dead Moms Club covers how losing her mother changed nearly everything in her life: both men and women readers who have lost parents or experienced grief of this magnitude will be comforted and consoled. Spencer even concludes each chapter with a cheeky but useful tip for readers (like the "It's None of Your Business Card" to copy and hand out to nosy strangers asking about your passed loved one).


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Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side. An empathetic read, The Dead Mom Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side. An empathetic read, The Dead Moms Club covers how losing her mother changed nearly everything in her life: both men and women readers who have lost parents or experienced grief of this magnitude will be comforted and consoled. Spencer even concludes each chapter with a cheeky but useful tip for readers (like the "It's None of Your Business Card" to copy and hand out to nosy strangers asking about your passed loved one).

30 review for The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book wasn't what I expected. I wanted it to go deep, but instead it read like an extremely privileged girl's life experiences with passages like: 'You know those asshole kids who have Christmas presents stacked so high they touch the top of the tree? That's us' or 'I grew up spending summers on a tiny lake in New Hampshire, which was as idyllic as it sounds.' About how her mother bought her everything she couldn't afford 'just because'. She talks about grieving in yoga classes, Trader Joe's This book wasn't what I expected. I wanted it to go deep, but instead it read like an extremely privileged girl's life experiences with passages like: 'You know those asshole kids who have Christmas presents stacked so high they touch the top of the tree? That's us' or 'I grew up spending summers on a tiny lake in New Hampshire, which was as idyllic as it sounds.' About how her mother bought her everything she couldn't afford 'just because'. She talks about grieving in yoga classes, Trader Joe's, the dog groomer's and Weight Watchers - which she joined even though she made sure to point out- she didn't actually need to lose weight (lest you think she was there for that reason!) She advocates traveling to the Caribbean for the holidays as a solution to having to face them sans her mother (trips bankrolled by her father) where heated arguments break out about whether or not to wait to eat at the Lobster Shack, and this kind of argument is analysed as part of real grief. She talks about having to tell people her mother had died, and complains when people bring it up (wouldn't it be insulting if they didn't?) There are few moments of 'real' or depth...and even though I realize that some people do live this kind of a life (and if you do, chances are high you'll love this book! If you're all about khakis and boat shoes, designer clothes and the Dave Matthews band this book is your jam!) I, however, felt there was far too much back-handed bragging (which may be unintentional- she may not realize her privilege), or advice for the average person (middle class and below) who had to deal with say, your deceased mother's finances, clearing out her things, or coming to grips in less than ideal conditions- say, if they don't have a spouse to handle the millions of details (probate court, insurance benefits, unpaid bills, death certificates, etc.) Of course I feel awful for anyone who has lost their mom, but I hope the author realizes that her example is one where the absolute BEST of conditions are in place, and that for many people the road is not paved in gold, and what's left behind is an intricate course of obstacles, with a million enormous decisions that land on your shoulders, unsupported by unlimited cash and a large group of loving people . Or anyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Riva Sciuto

    "You have one long, messy, weird, beautiful life. People come in and out of it, live and die, and affect us in enormous and not-so-enormous ways. Your mom's death is now a piece of you, a new dent on the side of the strange, misshapen thing that is your life." *** As a member of the Dead Moms Club for the past seven years, I (unfortunately) relate to everything Kate Spencer writes about in this book. Part memoir, part self-help guide to grief, she uses humor -- perhaps gratuitously at times -- to "You have one long, messy, weird, beautiful life. People come in and out of it, live and die, and affect us in enormous and not-so-enormous ways. Your mom's death is now a piece of you, a new dent on the side of the strange, misshapen thing that is your life." *** As a member of the Dead Moms Club for the past seven years, I (unfortunately) relate to everything Kate Spencer writes about in this book. Part memoir, part self-help guide to grief, she uses humor -- perhaps gratuitously at times -- to help the reader navigate the ugly and foreign world of the motherless. "You won't know how you're going to make it through," she writes. "But you will. You will." Her book is filled with reminders of what the motherless among us know to be true: Mother's Day is the "Darth Vader of holidays" (she nails that one); planning a wedding without your mom is no walk in the park; and holidays really never will be the same. She also adds (and I laughed aloud at this), "You're totally allowed to side-eye all those people who say, 'She's in a better place now!' Screw them." (Thank you, Kate!) Spencer also astutely points out what we all know to be true, whether we've experienced grief or not: we live in a society that avoids the acknowledgment of grief or loss at all costs. She claims that people are "better at swallowing their grief than discussing it" -- which only exacerbates the pain of those grieving. She provides us all with an important reminder: "If you don't know what to say to someone grieving, just try. There isn't a right thing to say. Just say something. That is, quite simply, good enough." Beneath the (often dark) humor Kate Spencer uses to chronicle the grief of losing her mom at 27 to pancreatic cancer, she includes some beautiful and very poignant passages on the impossibility of her journey: "This is how it is when death finally comes: your fear, anxiety, and sorrow stretch and expand, but you make room for the pain in ways you never thought possible. And then suddenly it all hits, explodes, and you are decimated." She writes beautifully about the unpredictability of grief, of its ability to blindside us at any moment: "These are the comforting, throw-away moments that when repeated every winter become permanent creases in our memory, folded into the pages of our lives. How strange it is, then, that time can move so fast. How odd that our brains latch on to these dull, forgettable moments. The lulls in between life's big events -- these are the times we cry for, long for, that make us ache." I would recommend this book to anyone who has recently lost a parent; while the gravity of loss is sometimes diminished by Spencer's repeated jokes, her voice is authentic in its ability to bring some levity to the dark and devastating world of loss. And no matter where you are on your journey through loss, Kate Spencer is here to remind you that you can get through it. "Celebrate the person you've become not in her absence, but because of it," she writes. 3.5 stars for this unique and candid guide to grief.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liz Gray

    A warning to potential readers: don’t start this book unless you have time to finish it in one or two sittings. It’s that good. Spencer writes in an engaging, self-deprecating and chatty style about a topic that most of us will experience in our lives, and her observations are heart-felt and true. You never “get over” your mother’s death, nor does your mother ever leave you. Learning to live with the tension between those two realities is what it’s all about.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    Let's start off with why I'm here: I'm a part of this club. I never would've thought to order this book online if I wasn't. And I'm glad I did. My rating for this book is based on how much it helped me — and it helped me, hence the full rating. I would read this book again. I was sad I finished it tonight, because I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend I latched myself onto. A lovely member of Oh No They Didn't! recommended this book to me back in early December. As soon as I Googled it and Let's start off with why I'm here: I'm a part of this club. I never would've thought to order this book online if I wasn't. And I'm glad I did. My rating for this book is based on how much it helped me — and it helped me, hence the full rating. I would read this book again. I was sad I finished it tonight, because I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend I latched myself onto. A lovely member of Oh No They Didn't! recommended this book to me back in early December. As soon as I Googled it and read the synopsis, I ordered it immediately with every intention to read it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. I didn't read it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. Instead, I looked at it, put it on my bookshelf, and didn't pick it up until May. Why May? May is Mother's Day and my birthday. I needed a friend to help me get through it. This isn't to say my friends haven't been — they have. But I needed someone who would be there at the hours I needed, who knew what I was feeling without needing me to tell them. As I read this book, I felt justified in my feelings, in the thoughts I had and am having, and have found understanding in even my own reactions. This book was there for me in a way where it initiated the conversation. I was taken along Kate's journey, and while I couldn't relate to some aspects of her memoir, I understood the emotion. Her words spoke to me in a way and at a time where I didn't realise I needed to invite it in. Am I making sense? I hope I'm making sense. I found myself surprised to be crying at sections of it. I was upset for Kate, for my new friend who was grieving so palpably through the pages. But I was crying for myself, because where Kate spoke of her mother, I inserted my own, and I found someone who understood all the things I knew and didn't know I was doing. I don't feel comfortable reviewing someone else's grief, because it isn't my place to judge. I am grateful for this memoir. I am grateful I read it. I am grateful I have it available to turn to when I need it. It has been a friend who has hugged me when I needed it, and an enemy who has ripped me open when I wasn't expecting it. I thought I would be able to finish this book and have a stack of quotes with me to include in my review. I don't. There are, quite frankly, too many quotes. I loved the words from Martha at the end. Thank you for sharing your story, Kate. Nothing I could say would encompass what this book means to me and has done for me. While it hasn't taken away my grief, it's given me the ability to accept it, control it when I see it coming at me, and, most of all, just experience it, knowing I am most definitely not alone.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Unfortunately, I am a new member in this club and I ordered Kate's book to try to find some ideas about dealing with my grief. Because the situations were very different, parts of the book didn't resonate with me but there were other parts that were very meaningful. The author has divided the book into different sections - example - Breaking the News, Holidays, Being Motherless and at the end of each section she has ideas of how to handle certain situations. The book is written with humor and isn Unfortunately, I am a new member in this club and I ordered Kate's book to try to find some ideas about dealing with my grief. Because the situations were very different, parts of the book didn't resonate with me but there were other parts that were very meaningful. The author has divided the book into different sections - example - Breaking the News, Holidays, Being Motherless and at the end of each section she has ideas of how to handle certain situations. The book is written with humor and isn't a book that is written in a weepy fashion. Whether you are part of the club or not, it's a book that will make you smile and that's always a good thing to do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    First of all, this is the worst club ever and I would like to leave. That said, I did appreciate this book, especially after having a few years to adjust to my membership. My instinct when reading was to compare everything about the author's situation to mine. We were about the same age, our moms were about the same age, and we're both from Massachusetts (just a decade apart). After that point, I didn't find much in common with the author's life at all, and at times I genuinely couldn't tell if First of all, this is the worst club ever and I would like to leave. That said, I did appreciate this book, especially after having a few years to adjust to my membership. My instinct when reading was to compare everything about the author's situation to mine. We were about the same age, our moms were about the same age, and we're both from Massachusetts (just a decade apart). After that point, I didn't find much in common with the author's life at all, and at times I genuinely couldn't tell if I even liked her. But I thought she was right on the mark when it came to how completely the grief took over life, and the weird situations you find yourself in when explaining it, and how it all feels both incredibly selfish and completely justified when you literally can't think of anything else outside of that bubble (like, every new thing that happens is a thing I can't tell my mom and I am still annoyed by that 3 years on). Some (or most) of the personal details might be different, but the experience of loss is universal, and I liked how this book fought that with a sense of humor. It's also more of a 3.5 star book for me, but I can save my complaints about the rating system for another day.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meliss

    I've always thought it so interesting and peculiar that eventually every human will experience loss and grief, yet it is such a unique and personal experience. And again, people read nonfiction and memoirs about how to deal with loss, yet one person's coping mechanisms may be the exact opposite of what you need. Which brings me to this book. I am a part of this club, and my experience has been so very different than the author's. Which, obviously, is normal. But I was still interested in reading I've always thought it so interesting and peculiar that eventually every human will experience loss and grief, yet it is such a unique and personal experience. And again, people read nonfiction and memoirs about how to deal with loss, yet one person's coping mechanisms may be the exact opposite of what you need. Which brings me to this book. I am a part of this club, and my experience has been so very different than the author's. Which, obviously, is normal. But I was still interested in reading and learning and relating to this book. But that didn't happen. There was a lot of humor--which I liked!--except a lot of the jokes weren't actually funny. They were suuuuuper forced. And I didn't connect to it emotionally at all. Maybe because of the way it's written or because she had an annoyingly privileged attitude, but I just couldn't. It had some great quotes and moments, but overall, I expected to like it a lot more than I did.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    I’m (thankfully) not a member of the Dead Moms Club, but this book reduced me to a puddle of tears. Kate lays out the good, bad, and ugly parts of herself and her grief in a very real, relatable way. I found her tips on how to support those who are grieving or dealing with illness to be particularly helpful. Especially when it comes to what NOT to do - which is nothing at all. Reach out, offer your support, or simply a kind word. It may not feel like much, but it’s something.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Anderson

    This book took me a long time to read. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it was hard. I picked it up less than a month after losing my mom. Kate talks about grief in a lighthearted way that makes it all seem a little less scary. She holds your hand and walks you through her experience of losing her mom. She was only a few years older than I was when she lost her mom to cancer, so a lot of it was very relatable and helpful. I’m sure it’s a book I’ll pick up again in a few years when I ne This book took me a long time to read. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it was hard. I picked it up less than a month after losing my mom. Kate talks about grief in a lighthearted way that makes it all seem a little less scary. She holds your hand and walks you through her experience of losing her mom. She was only a few years older than I was when she lost her mom to cancer, so a lot of it was very relatable and helpful. I’m sure it’s a book I’ll pick up again in a few years when I need a little more reassurance.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susannah

    To be totally honest, I know Kate IRL (brag) and read an early draft of this book (double brag) so you can take this review with NO grains of salt because, girl, I can be objective. This is a really funny, moving, vulnerable memoir about the biggest, worst loss in Kate’s life, and all the smaller, but still devastating moments of loss that have followed in the years since. It’s also about hope and healing and friendship and family and weirdos who say weird things to you when you’re going through To be totally honest, I know Kate IRL (brag) and read an early draft of this book (double brag) so you can take this review with NO grains of salt because, girl, I can be objective. This is a really funny, moving, vulnerable memoir about the biggest, worst loss in Kate’s life, and all the smaller, but still devastating moments of loss that have followed in the years since. It’s also about hope and healing and friendship and family and weirdos who say weird things to you when you’re going through a difficult time. It’s a really lovely book that you will read quickly but which will stay with you long after you’ve put it down. If you are or know someone who’s a member of the Dead Mom’s Club (or the Dead Dad’s Club), you need to buy this book and then clear your afternoon for reading and crying and laughing and feeling your feelings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Another gut-punching book, this one took a while for me to get through because it reduced me to tears frequently as I listened. The author went through a similar experience with her mom’s diagnosis & death as I did, resulting in a lot of flashbacks. Yet, as hard as it could be at times, I am glad I pushed through. I’ve always found it helpful to hear other people’s experiences as it generally makes me feel less alone and provides a few important reminders. One, if they can get through it, you ca Another gut-punching book, this one took a while for me to get through because it reduced me to tears frequently as I listened. The author went through a similar experience with her mom’s diagnosis & death as I did, resulting in a lot of flashbacks. Yet, as hard as it could be at times, I am glad I pushed through. I’ve always found it helpful to hear other people’s experiences as it generally makes me feel less alone and provides a few important reminders. One, if they can get through it, you can get through it. Two, it’s natural. Three, it won’t always feel this way but it will always be part of you and that’s okay. There is one chapter in which the author talks about visiting a medium and their beliefs/feelings which, as someone who is skeptical of mediums, I was inwardly groaning about it at first. However, I think the author handled the subject well in the end. While they initially found it helpful, I am glad the author also pointed out that this is not a good thing to spend your money on and there is a good reason to be skeptical. Essentially I found the author did a great job of both expressing her individual reactions/beliefs but also keeping the universal feelings/process that all go through in losing a parent. I would highly recommend, especially to those who feel alone as they go through this kind of loss or feel like they cannot talk about the horrible details that they experienced going through this sort of loss.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I belong to The Dead Mom’s Club. Nine years ago, my mom died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Kate Spencer lost her mother to pancreatic cancer and thus we are, by default, BFFs, kindred spirits, sisters from another life. She reaches out a deft, humorous, and poignant hand to all of us who are roaming this earth motherless. It’s nice to hear someone write what you have felt. She’s honest and hilarious and almost convinced me of the reincarnated appearances of her mom in the form of a bug and a c I belong to The Dead Mom’s Club. Nine years ago, my mom died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Kate Spencer lost her mother to pancreatic cancer and thus we are, by default, BFFs, kindred spirits, sisters from another life. She reaches out a deft, humorous, and poignant hand to all of us who are roaming this earth motherless. It’s nice to hear someone write what you have felt. She’s honest and hilarious and almost convinced me of the reincarnated appearances of her mom in the form of a bug and a chipmunk. The only thing lacking was any religious perspective on death. Kate is not a believer. For me, my spiritual beliefs harnessed and harmonized my grief. I cannot imagine going through the experience without them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I adored this book. I found Kate's voice so engaging; the perfect combination of wry/funny and sad/honest. Though I lost my father, not my mother, I related to so much of Kate's experience. Even if you haven't lost someone, this book is still a great read thanks to Kate's humor and honesty. It will also help you be a better friend to people who have lost someone, since so many of us just don't know what to do for our friends/family after someone dies. (Hint: JUST DO SOMETHING!) 4.5 stars because I adored this book. I found Kate's voice so engaging; the perfect combination of wry/funny and sad/honest. Though I lost my father, not my mother, I related to so much of Kate's experience. Even if you haven't lost someone, this book is still a great read thanks to Kate's humor and honesty. It will also help you be a better friend to people who have lost someone, since so many of us just don't know what to do for our friends/family after someone dies. (Hint: JUST DO SOMETHING!) 4.5 stars because of how much I relate to the subject; 4 stars, being more objective. Excited to see what Kate writes next! And do yourself a favor and check out her podcast, Forever 35.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly Schopfer

    I chose this book from the library to help supplement my research into others’ books of grief, as I am writing my own grief memoir about recurrent pregnancy loss. I adored the author’s total transparency, wit, and unabashed accounting of her ongoing grief experience. This made her journey so real for the reader. I felt she tried a bit too hard at times to be witty, but hey, at least the effort was there amidst such a dark time. I am glad I read this and consider it helpful for my personal grief I chose this book from the library to help supplement my research into others’ books of grief, as I am writing my own grief memoir about recurrent pregnancy loss. I adored the author’s total transparency, wit, and unabashed accounting of her ongoing grief experience. This made her journey so real for the reader. I felt she tried a bit too hard at times to be witty, but hey, at least the effort was there amidst such a dark time. I am glad I read this and consider it helpful for my personal grief research.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    Not to freak you out or anything, but I am fascinated with death. Especially the fact that we don't talk about Death much, considering the fact that it is everybody's future. My dad died when I was one, and he was 26, and I never stop wishing that he would have left me a letter, something written just to me, so that I could have some connection to him in my life. Consequently, I wonder a lot about how to do death . . . .well, better. I love Kate Spencer's candor in her essays, as well as her hum Not to freak you out or anything, but I am fascinated with death. Especially the fact that we don't talk about Death much, considering the fact that it is everybody's future. My dad died when I was one, and he was 26, and I never stop wishing that he would have left me a letter, something written just to me, so that I could have some connection to him in my life. Consequently, I wonder a lot about how to do death . . . .well, better. I love Kate Spencer's candor in her essays, as well as her humor. She given me a lot to ponder.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Overall I like this book a lot and would recommend it or buy it for friends who experience loss. It is particularly resonant to me because her mother is diagnosed with cancer and given a very grim prognosis, and dies within a year after a fast yet also glacial decline. There were certainly parts of the book that were a touch too silly, and others that struck the right tone and made me smile. Others were so close to home I'd need a break and to wipe my eyes. I appreciated her discussions of famil Overall I like this book a lot and would recommend it or buy it for friends who experience loss. It is particularly resonant to me because her mother is diagnosed with cancer and given a very grim prognosis, and dies within a year after a fast yet also glacial decline. There were certainly parts of the book that were a touch too silly, and others that struck the right tone and made me smile. Others were so close to home I'd need a break and to wipe my eyes. I appreciated her discussions of family dynamics and how a death alters the balance, creating a different set of expectations of people who have always played certain roles.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    This is the best book about dead moms out there. Since there aren’t a ton of those, it probably sounds like I’m damning with faint praise, but it’s so funny and poignant and ON POINT. It’s also a solid choice for anyone who isn’t in the club because Spencer provides a lot of useful tips and insight about how you can be a good friend/support.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’ve become a big Kate Spencer fan through her podcast and her memoir had the same humor and honesty I hear weekly. I liked how she explored her relationships with those who were also going through grief. The chapters about her dad, ex-boyfriend and stepmom were especially well done. I was not expecting to learn how to help those in grief but definitely left with practical tips.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meryl

    I don't usually read memoirs touching grief but I knew I had to get this book after my own mother passed away two months ago. Kate Spencer wrote this touching and funny tribute to her mom and how she dealt with grief and the aftermath, things that I'm still navigating today. It's a bittersweet but hopeful read, and it's somehow reassuring to see how she managed to move forward and live with her grief. There are so many relatable quotes that I can share, but perhaps the best way to end this is wi I don't usually read memoirs touching grief but I knew I had to get this book after my own mother passed away two months ago. Kate Spencer wrote this touching and funny tribute to her mom and how she dealt with grief and the aftermath, things that I'm still navigating today. It's a bittersweet but hopeful read, and it's somehow reassuring to see how she managed to move forward and live with her grief. There are so many relatable quotes that I can share, but perhaps the best way to end this is with this: "This essence is what we have left, and what we carry and pass on. You can never lose it, no matter how deep your loss. She's in me. I'm stuck with her. And this is what unites all of us in the Dead Moms Club, besides just the obvious. Our mothers may be gone, but the essence of who they are is in us. And that is forever."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This is a wonderful book about dealing with life after the loss of a mother. I did genuinely laugh and cry while reading this. It’s been a cherished book for me. My friend who lost his mother gave it to me to help me with my grief. It was very helpful.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Bean

    This book was charming, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting all at the same time. Can’t wait to read more from Kate Spencer.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Thalhamer

    I picked up this book after getting to know Kate Spencer through her podcast Forever 35. A few people I’m close to have lost their moms in their 20s and 30s, and I’m grateful to Kate for sharing her experience in such an honest and personal way.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Not my favorite book regarding this subject. It was a bit irreverent for my taste considering my own experience, but I did enjoy some of the humor.

  24. 4 out of 5

    aameils

    I heard of this book through the podcast Forever35 which is co-hosted by the author. Kate often refers to some of the little bits in her book and despite its terribly sad purpose for existing, there are some pretty hilarious parts. I found myself sobbing then laughing then sobbing again. Heavier chapters end with a page or two of funny lists or tips. Depending on your reason for reading this book you may need to take long breaks or can power can through it on a rollercoaster of emotions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tamie

    • Hi! English isn't my mother language and I'm self-taught, so, sorry for any mispelled words and everything in between. I don't recomend this reading if you recently had lost your mother. You'll hate the author. Just don't read it now, wait at least a few months. Then you will understand and relate to the phases of grief she describes and the aspects of it. Kate is a comedian and made this book sometimes ironical, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Each chapter ends with a list of things to do in ca • Hi! English isn't my mother language and I'm self-taught, so, sorry for any mispelled words and everything in between. I don't recomend this reading if you recently had lost your mother. You'll hate the author. Just don't read it now, wait at least a few months. Then you will understand and relate to the phases of grief she describes and the aspects of it. Kate is a comedian and made this book sometimes ironical, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Each chapter ends with a list of things to do in case of a specific scenario presented before, or observations, but in a way that feels like reading chicklit. And if you're on the first stages of grief, that kind of thing it's not so funny. Why, how could she? How could she make fun of the worst loss of our lives? Because she was desperate before. She had her time (almost 10 years while writing the book) to process everything. It's a good read and I finished it feeling comforted knowing that such "club" of people exists. That I'm not the only one holding on to the little things my mother did, like her last shopping list or keeping the last box of soap she opened. I can understand Kate's humour about this now, almost four years later. If I had put my hands on this book in 2014, I would not fully embrace it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I’ve never related to a book more. Thank you Kate Spencer.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Drinkwine

    I had already read this book and chose to reread it again as the anniversary of my mother's death is approaching. It truly is the best book on grief I have read and I would reccomend it to anyone who has lost a parent. *"This is a book of commiseration, support and the occasional survival tip."* Her book was funny and witty. It made me smile, laugh and cry. It was so comforting to hear from someone else that all these feelings and the ups and downs we experience are normal. *"At first grief clun I had already read this book and chose to reread it again as the anniversary of my mother's death is approaching. It truly is the best book on grief I have read and I would reccomend it to anyone who has lost a parent. *"This is a book of commiseration, support and the occasional survival tip."* Her book was funny and witty. It made me smile, laugh and cry. It was so comforting to hear from someone else that all these feelings and the ups and downs we experience are normal. *"At first grief clung to me, chasing me down like a serial killer in a horror movie. No matter where I went or what I did, the grief followed, lurking, ready to pop out in a book store or yoga class but something, somewhere shifted and I became the one clinging. “Get back here” I screamed, tightening my grip on my sorrow. Holding onto my grief was how i held onto my mom. Feeling sad meant that I hadn’t totally forgotten her, that she still existed, mattered and lived. I wanted to feel the sadness bc it would mean that a part of her was still there, living and breathing through my sorrow." *Kate manages to somehow make you feel less alone; to remind you that we are all joined together in this club. I love how she was able to convey the loss and the emotional rollercoaster that follows in such a funny and entertaining way. This is a book that I am sure that I will read and reread again. *"Sometimes I wish that everyone understood grief. But to really understand grief you have to have experienced the loss of someone you love. What I really wish is that I didn't understand either."*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    Kate Spencer has written a moving, colorful, sad, uplifting, helpful, and funny memoir that, both fortunately and unfortunately, came along at the precise time in my life that I needed it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    A.

    I wrote an entire review and then goodreads deleted it and I do not have the energy to repeat. Suffice it to say, this book is not perfect (some of the jokes are really forced and I don't think the author and I would be friends), but this book is also a lot like she saw into my heart and wrote down all my grief. ----QUOTES---- "My grief leaked out of every orifice of my body no matter what I did to try to clog it, keep it down, and shove it inside. "I waffled between being unable to even say the w I wrote an entire review and then goodreads deleted it and I do not have the energy to repeat. Suffice it to say, this book is not perfect (some of the jokes are really forced and I don't think the author and I would be friends), but this book is also a lot like she saw into my heart and wrote down all my grief. ----QUOTES---- "My grief leaked out of every orifice of my body no matter what I did to try to clog it, keep it down, and shove it inside. "I waffled between being unable to even say the words 'my mom died' to then wanting to talk about nothing else but my dead mom. Somehow both emotions existed inside me and could change rank on the minute. ... "But there was a deeper, darker, meaner part of me that liked seeing people squirm. Maybe if I made enough people uncomfortable, I could somehow get them to feel my pain. And so ther eit sat on my tongue, ready to leap out at strangers any chance it got." "But eventually I had to do something terrible. I had to actually deal with the emotions that stewed inside me over my mom's death. And there was one awful, ugly one that scared me in particular. "I was mad. I am mad. "I am very, very angry that I do not have a mom. "It's been ten years, and so I can navigate my anger with some ability... But just knowing how to manage your anger doesn't make it go away. And I'm pretty sure it's never going to go away, ever. "So let me just get it all out right here: I am furious that she is gone. All those icky, uncomfortable emotions we loathe to admit we have--rage, resentment, jealousy, and good old-fashioned hatred--have bubbled up and out of me at various times as I've grieved. ... Sometimes the depths of your sadness and anger will shock you; there will be times when you will hate people with a murderous rage, simple because they still have their moms and you do not. ... You will hate and hate and hate, and it will terrify you." "Grief poisons every corner of your life, fogging up your brain with sadness so deep that just breathing can hurt. ... "It was a thick, hazy goo that covered every part of my life, like a cobweb that sticks to you no matter what you do to shake it loose. Grief is sort of a weird superpower: it paralyzes you, but you're able to keep moving forward while simultaneously being eaten alive by your pain. It is also a cockroach: it can live through any apocalypse you throw its way. ... "These feelings don't just go away. They linger. Hover. They are with me always. Even at my most functioning ... they are there, watching me. ... "Most days now, they lie dormant in me. Sometimes it gets so quiet in my brain I think they've finally packed up and left. But every year, as the calendar rounds the corner to March and the anniversary of her death approaches, anger bubbles again. ... At first I'm perplexed, and then I remember: it's here again. And I am still mad. So mad. I can starve it, avoid it, rationalize it, manage it, talk about it in therapy, and eat it up in neat little points value. No matter how much weight I lose, I will never lose this one simple truth: I want my mom. I am so ... mad that she's gone. And that feeling will never, ever die." "The likes on the [facebook] video rolled in as they always do, and my mom's college roommate wrote, 'Oh, your mom would have LOVED that so very much.' And in that one comment lives all my sadness: it's not just what she's missing online that hurts. It's that she's missing ALL of it. And oh, how she would have loved it all so much. This is the hurt that keeps me at my keyboard, even after all these years,trying to make people understand this throbbing, endless ache that I'll never be able to really describe at all."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    I’ve read so many books on grief and each one has missed the mark. I have always said that 20-something’s who lose their moms are the forgotten ones. When you lose your mom as a child or teenager, it’s tragic for different reasons and the whole world gives you love, shows you empathy and concern, and sympathizes with you. Rightfully so. When you lose your mom when you’re older, it’s still a horrible, unthinkable loss, yet it’s more normal and there are many, many more women who are a part of tha I’ve read so many books on grief and each one has missed the mark. I have always said that 20-something’s who lose their moms are the forgotten ones. When you lose your mom as a child or teenager, it’s tragic for different reasons and the whole world gives you love, shows you empathy and concern, and sympathizes with you. Rightfully so. When you lose your mom when you’re older, it’s still a horrible, unthinkable loss, yet it’s more normal and there are many, many more women who are a part of that subset of the Dead Mom’s Club. And then there’s us — the 20-somethings. Just starting to be best friends with our mom, a grown-up but still need my mom to call throughout the years of trying to become an adult. These are the years that are usually filled with milestones — weddings, jobs, babies. It’s a horrendous time to lose your mom and yet everyone seems to brush over it. Not Kate Spencer. Finally. As much as I hate that another person went through the painful hell I went through, misery loves company and Kate did an incredible job giving us a very real glimpse into her story. With every page I read, I wanted to yell “YES! This is it! This is what it was like! SOMEONE GETS IT!” I will always recommend this book to anyone who joins the club (and truly, anyone who loves the person who joined the club). However, I’ll always recommend with a disclaimer. I didn’t like the chapter on talking to your kids about your mom. Kate and I have very different beliefs, which wasn’t evident until this chapter. It’s a lifesaver of a book that I highly recommend — but I will always talk to my little girl about her grandma and the beautiful place she now resides.

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