Title: Matter of Death & Life, A
Author: YALOM MARILYN
Publication date: 04/05/2021
Publishing status: Active
A year-long journey by the renowned psychiatrist and his writer wife after her fatal diagnosis, as they reflect on how to love and live without regret.
Internationally acclaimed psychiatrist and author Irvin Yalom devoted his career to counselling those suffering from anxiety and grief. But never had he faced the need to counsel himself until his wife, esteemed feminist author Marilyn Yalom, was diagnosed with cancer. In A Matter of Death and Life, Marilyn and Irv share how they took on profound new struggles- Marilyn to die a good death, Irv to live on without her.
In alternating accounts of their last months together and Irv’s first months alone, they offer us a rare window into facing mortality and coping with the loss of one’s beloved. The Yaloms had numerous blessings – a loving family, a Palo Alto home under a magnificent valley oak, a large circle of friends, avid readers around the world, and a long, fulfilling marriage – but they faced death as we all do. With the wisdom of those who have thought deeply and the familiar warmth of teenage sweethearts who’ve grown up together, they investigate universal questions of intimacy, love, and grief.
Informed by two lifetimes of experience, A Matter of Death and Life is an openhearted offering to anyone seeking support, solace, and a meaningful life.
‘This beautiful, poignant, and uplifting memoir is a love story, a tale of two incredibly accomplished lives that were lived almost as one, the sum turning out to be so much greater than its parts. It will inspire you and perhaps move you to look differently at your life – it did that for me.’
-Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
‘For over half a century, the eminent psychiatrist Irvin Yalom has dazzled the world with his stories of the human psyche packed with wisdom, insight, and humour. Now, with stunning candour and courage, he shares with us the most difficult experience of his life- the loss of his wife and steadfast companion since adolescence. Partners to the end, including in the co-writing of this book, they share an indelible portrait of bereavement – the terror, pain, denial, and reluctant acceptance. But what we are left with is much more than a profound story of enduring loss – it’s an unforgettable and achingly beautiful story of enduring love. I will be thinking about this for years to come.’
-Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
‘A Matter of Death and Life is so much more than a book. It is an indefatigable love story. It is a text that traverses past and present. It is exquisite, candid, and vulnerable – absent the too-common defences of artifice and pomposity – as it approaches the untenable pain of separation and unyielding yearning of loss. Every person would benefit from multiple readings of this intelligently relatable book, both to confront dying as we inch toward our own mortality and, perhaps more importantly, the grief when one so beloved precedes us in death. I am deeply enriched for having absorbed this intimate narrative, as I wipe the tears from my eyes. Irv and Marilyn’s love story, ending in the tragedy of endings, is yours, mine, and all of ours.’
-Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, author of Bearing the Unbearable