Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's been 12 years, but can I return my library book?

Last month, on the twelfth anniversary of my mom's death, I finally got up the nerve to return a library book. One problem: It was twelve years overdue. Fortunately, a nice woman at the Hospice of Central New York in Liverpool, NY was happy to take it back. Here is the letter I sent, which explains all...


August 19, 2014 

Dear Michelle,

About a decade ago, as a student at Syracuse University, I came to your facility, which was then called The Center for Living with Loss, to see a pastor who was a counselor there. My mother had recently died from cancer, and I was seeking support for my grief.

The pastor and I spoke for a while, and before I left, he led me to the library and asked if I'd like to borrow a book. I noticed one right away: Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman. I flipped through the pages and was shocked to find snippets of loss from young women just like me. I checked it out... and never brought it back. 

Since then, the pages have been read and reread, dog-eared and tear-soaked, and loved beyond belief. I am so grateful to Lisa McChesney, who donated the book, and to your facility for lending me such a wonderful and helpful resource. 

Now, after a dozen years, I'd like to return my book. Enclosed is the recently-published third edition of the book, signed by Hope Edelman herself, who I was fortunate enough to meet in May at the Motherless Daughters Conference in Los Angeles. I hope this book is helpful to someone else, as it was to me.

I hope you won't mind that I am keeping the version I originally borrowed. It is too sentimental for me to part with. It also reminds me how far I've come. The book mostly stays on the shelf these days, atop a bookcase in the charming and sun-filled Brooklyn apartment I share with my husband. We are happy newlyweds, about to celebrate our second anniversary.  

My deepest gratitude to you, your staff, and your community. 


Marisa Bardach Ramel