Title: THE MOURNING REPORT
Author: CAITLIN GARVEY
Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MENTAL HEALTH, GRIEF
Length: 168 PAGES
Publisher: HOMEBOUND PUBLICATIONS
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: OCTOBER 6, 2020
Price: $15.95 USD
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Two years after her mother’s death from breast cancer, Caitlin, then 20 years old, was admitted to a psychiatric facility after a suicide attempt. In the wake of this enormous loss, Caitlin questions her religion, comes to terms with her sexuality, and searches for a way to live with severe depression and anxiety.
Years later, unable to come to terms with her mother’s death, Caitlin decides to embark on a “grief journey,” interviewing the people involved in her mother’s dying process: a hospice nurse, a priest, an estate planner, a hairstylist, and a funeral director. If she figures out how they can function after being so close to her mother’s death, then maybe she can learn how to navigate her own life. Each chapter of The Mourning Report is centered on each interview and the memories, anxieties, and reflections that is stimulated. It asks what it means to “move on.”
*** TRIGGER WARNING ***
This book contains talk of depression, grief, a suicide attempt and suicidal ideation. If any of these topics are triggers for you, I suggest you either skip this book, or proceed with caution.
“I’m scared to live, and I envy those who aren’t…”
Caitlin Garvey lost her mother to Breast Cancer when Caitlin was only twenty years old. Unable to find her way through her grief, she attempted suicide and ended up in a locked psychiatric facility.
Caitlin was depressed and her anxiety levels were off the chart. Her time in the hospital was helpful, but even after she was released, she was still suicidal.
“[She] began this book out of desperation to feel unbound, to feel a comfort that could allow [her] to move forward in [her] life. [She] wanted to revisit [her] memories of the few days before and after [her] Momma died, the moments when [Caitlin] felt the smallest and the most detached from the world. [She] hoped that [she] could pick up the pieces of [herself] that [she] left behind. [Caitlin] hoped to feel whole, not fragmented, and that [she] could remember more of [her] Momma and get a fuller version of her story.”
“[Caitlin] interviewed five people, all of whom were a part of [her] Momma’s dying process:”
Those five people were:
1. Her mother’s hairstylist who was also her close friend. In fact, it was this woman who styled her mother’s hair for the wake.
2. The family priest
3. A nurse/administrator at Heartland Hospice Care
4. The author’s parent’s estate planner AND
5. An embalmer/funeral director
“[She] thought that if [she] could figure out how these five people functioned after being so close to death, [she] could better navigate [her] own life. [She] hoped they could give [her] some guidance.”
Each chapter focuses on the interviews between Caitlin and the person she was interviewing. Each time, she discovered more, not only about her mother, but about herself as well. Personally, I found these conversations both fascinating and insightful.
THE MOURNING REPORT is probably the most raw and honest grief/depression memoir I have ever read. Caitlin does not shy away from the truth and admits that “[She was] mad at myself for wanting to die when all [her] Momma wanted to do was live.”
Caitlin’s honesty and integrity left me with a feeling of having peeked inside her psyche and having gone along on her journey of healing.
There is just no rating other than 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ that would be truthful. In fact, I plan to go back and read THE MOURNING REPORT again in a few weeks.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever lost someone close to them. As well, anyone who has an interest in mental health, depression and suicide prevention should be sure to read The Mourning Report.
Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this #memoir
“I wished to trade bodies with her so that I could swallow her sickness, and she could be healthy and take care of me.”
“Since 2010, I’ve tried 13 different medications, a mix of anti-depressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxieties, and ADHD medications. I’ve had five different therapists. Still I feel trapped in my body and trapped by a brain that constantly tells me I’m not good enough, or significant enough.”
“I feel dead, but I can still hear my heartbeat.”
“I stare at the people in the cars next to me, and I wonder how it feels to be them, and I wonder how freeing it must feel to be able to drive to work without considering crashing the car.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caitlin Garvey is a writer and English professor in Chicago.
She has an MFA in creative writing from Northwestern University.
Her work has been published in Post Road Magazine, JuxtaProse Magazine, Apeiron Review, The Baltimore Review, The Tishman Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and others.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links: