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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Author Linda Campanella's mother, Nancy, was diagnosed with stage four small-cell cancer that had spread to her brain in September of 2008. This was horrible news for Nancy's four children, Linda, Paula, Claudia and Eric as well as her husband of over fifty years, Eckart, a doctor who headed the radiology department at Baystate Medical Center near where they lived in Connecticut. Nancy and Eckart had been in love since they met in the 1950's and Nancy had a loving and close bond with her children and grandchildren. But Linda Campanella shares with the reader how she, her father and her siblings were determined to make their mother's last months of life a joy. They decided that they would give her love and support and not be afraid of crying and showing her how much they loved her as she had always loved them. And through the months of chemotherapy, radiation, hospice and dealing with Nancy's gradual physical decline into a coma and then death a year and a day after her diagnosis, her family gathers around her, celebrating her life and love.
This is a brilliantly written testimonial to a family's great loss of the wife and mother. That Linda Campanella, her father, and her siblings were able to surround Nancy with love, that they gave dignity in small things such as their "happy hour" times and dressing up her hospital bed in the living room, and shared the knowledge that they would miss her so very much and would always love her makes this book a must read for everyone. The first-rate formatting with a table of contents, index, and poetry to share, makes "When all that's left of me is love" a book that should be on library and church offices everywhere. Grief counselors should have copies to give away plentifully. "When all that's left of me is love" offers a unique and healing viewpoint of how to deal with the loss of a loved one.