Imprint:Dundurn Press - Toronto
Dimensions:7in x 5 x 1 in | 200 gr
Page Count:208 pages
Illustrations:1 B&W illustrations
During a pandemic lockdown full of pyjama dance parties, life talks, and final goodbyes, a family helps a father die with dignity.
In April 2020, journalist Mitchell Consky received bad news: his father was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer, with less than two months to live. Suddenly, he and his extended family — many of them healthcare workers — were tasked with reconciling the social distancing required by the Covid-19 pandemic with a family-based approach to end-of-life care. The result was a home hospice during the first lockdown. Suspended within the chaos of medication and treatments were dance parties, episodes of Tiger King, and his father’s many deadpan jokes.
Leaning into his journalistic intuitions, Mitchell interviewed his father daily, making audio recordings of final talks, emotional goodbyes, and the unexpected laughter that filled his father’s final days. Serving as a catalyst for fatherly affection, these interviews became an opportunity for emotional confession during the slowed-down time of a shuttered world, and reflect how far a family went in making a dying loved one feel safe at home.
This journey of a grown son letting his father go is meaningful for us all as we face grief and loss. Although a memoir about dying, there are elegantly written lessons about living: of being thankful for the simple moments; of finding joy despite overwhelming sorrow, and realizing they are compatible. Consky was fortunate to have had a father filled with such love and laughter. - Jennifer Dance, author of Gone but Still Here
America has Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. Canada now has its own Mitch, Mitch Consky who has written Home Safe, a tribute to his father. Consky manages to convey deep love for his father who devoted all he had to his family. As you read it, you long to have the closeness and constant support that this father gave the children. - Cathy Gildiner, NYT bestselling author
An intimate, raw and honest look at what it was really like to grapple with end of life care and loss during unprecedented times. This amazingly hopeful book illuminates these unimaginable circumstances while reminding us that love, even in the face of darkness, brings so much light. - Liz Levine, author of Nobody Ever Talks About Anything But the End
In capturing the resilience, the philosophizing, and the joking around of family and friends, Consky’s heartfelt, tender memoir embraces the ultimate realization that dying is indeed part of living, especially for a young man losing his father before his eyes. - Bill Reynolds, professor of literary journalism, Toronto Metropolitan University
On the surface, this a memoir about a son watching his father’s brutal 2 ½ month descent from cancer diagnosis to death, during the dark days of the pandemic, no less. But Home Safeis really an intimate reflection on grief, loss and the burden of keeping memories alive. A must-read for anyone who wishes they had been able to spend just a little more time with a loved one in their final days.- André Picard, author of Neglected No More and Health columnist at The Globe and Mail
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