The Space Between

A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life

Non-Fiction - Memoir
288 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2016
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Author Biography

Virginia A. Simpson, Ph.D., FT, is a Bereavement Care Specialist with more than 30 years of experience working with the dying and grieving. She holds a Fellowship in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC), and is the Executive Counseling Director for hundreds of funeral homes throughout the United States and Canada. Simpson’s articles have appeared in publications throughout the world. Virginia has been honored for her work by the cities of Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage.

Dr. Simpson’s first book, The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life about her journey caring for her mother was published in 2016. It has won First Place for best memoir from the Sarton Story Circle, Readers View Awards (also Best book from West Pacific), and Independent Press Award in Best Relationship Category, Bronze Readers' Favorite Medal,and was a Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Book Awards, 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards, and 2017 International Book Awards.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Anyone who has ever had to take on the onerous task of being chief caregiver to parents, once they have become incapable of fully looking after themselves, will fully relate to Virginia A. Simpson's memoir, The Space Between. In my own late adult years, I faced this same challenge with my mother, for about the same length of time as "Ginni" did, and like the author, I nearly fell apart at the seams with the load I had chosen to carry. And yet, just as Virginia found, that load brought about one of the best times in my entire relationship with my mother. It was a time when, at last, we came to know so much more of each other than we had during all the The Space Between our mothers' healthy days and subsequent decline, a time when honesty mattered more than keeping face and always being strong.

This is the story that Virginia A. Simpson shares in The Space Between. With the help of Linda Joy Myers of the National Association of Memoir Writers, Simpson has "gone deep", where one should go when writing a memoir. By doing so, by baring her innermost thoughts, fears, and regrets about her past relationship with her mother, and through this chance that life has now given them both, they get to know and understand each other so much better. Virginia discovers the real reasons why her mom was the way she was and why she, in turn, became who she is. And the most important thing they each discovered was that all along, they had indeed truly loved each other, but too many things had gotten in the way of expressing it. That was exactly what I had experienced with my mother.

I am a huge believer in the importance of writing memoirs. It is stories like The Space Between that puts into print what everyday people live with and feel. The world wide web can fill us in on what we need to know when we become chief caregiver to someone we love. But it is memoirs like The Space Between by Virginia A. Simpson that will tell us how it really feels to step into that role.