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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • SubGenre:Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • Language:English
  • Pages:103
  • eBook ISBN:9781626755260

Out of Step

A Diary To My Dead Son

by Suellen Zima

Book Image Not Available

He had been too dead for 8 years! Was there any way to repair their damaged relationship now? His mother desperately wanted to try. She began to write a diary to her dead son. Slowly, subtly, things began to change.


He had been too dead for 8 years! Was there any way to repair their damaged relationship now? His mother desperately wanted to try. Her growing need for communication in their truncated relationship pushed her to start a diary to her dead son. In it, she tried to fill in the gaps, initiate conversations that never happened, continue conversations that were unfinished, tell him about her life that he hadn't wanted to know, and attempted to listen to him as the child he had been, and the adult he had grown into. Interracial adoption in the 1970s, divorce, guilt and abandonment, homosexuality, HIV-AIDS, death in one's prime -- all were parts of their complicated mother-son relationship.

About the author

Suellen Zima's two books are of very different journeys intimately connected to her life. Her first book, "Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird," published in 2006 and selected 2008 First Place in Non-fiction by the National League of American Pen Women, is of her adventurous middle-aged years as a world-wide wanderer. She explored cultures and countries new to her much like a hummingbird -- feet planted firmly in mid-air, hovering, drinking deeply, and then flitting away to return another day. Discovering her love of teaching English to non-native English speakers, she was able to delve deeper into each culture through contact with her students in Israel, China, Taiwan, Macau, Bali, and Korea. China drew her back many times during the tumultuous changes she saw first hand starting in 1988. A retired senior living in southern California, she remains in contact with many of her now middle-aged students. The second book, e-published in 2013, is more intense and emotional. A parallel life story was unfolding during her traveling years, and after she settled into retirement. In "Out of Step: A Diary To My Dead Son," she attempts to repair their complicated mother-son relationship after his untimely death just before 35. In 2011, eight years after his drawn-out, grueling death, she felt he was just too dead. She longed to make him come more alive to her. But how? She begins a diary to her dead son. There were so many unsaid, unfinished conversations to be had. Although most of their relationship had ended by the time he was 12, she tries to think of him as an adult, and tell him more of who she has become. She wants to tell him about her life after the divorce that he hadn't wanted to hear about. She talks to him as she might if he were still alive, telling him what's happening in the world, and attempting to understand him better. Was it truly too late? She begins to feel a shift in her emotions. It is a story that weaves interracial adoptions, divorce, guilt and abandonment, homosexuality, HIV-AIDS, mother-son relationships, dying and grieving much as it happened. Blogging as The Senior Hummingbird, Suellen Zima lives in southern California and is still periodically wandering, sometimes wondering, and often writing.

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