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After her mother died of cancer at the age of 55, Meghan O'Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the experience. In the first anguished days, she created a record of her life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief-its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies-an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond. O'Rourke's story is one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss. And its also one of how a daughter's love for her mother endures, even after she is gone.
Meghan O’Rourke is the author of the poetry collections Once and Halflife. She is a cultural critic for Slate, and her essays and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.