Read The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth about It) by PattyDann Sallie Sanborn Online


The moment when Patty Dann’s husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she felt as though the ground had dropped out beneath her. Her grief, however, was immediately interrupted by the realization that she would have to tell their three-year-old son, Jake, that his father was dying. The prognosis gave her husband just a year to live. In that short time, the three oThe moment when Patty Dann’s husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she felt as though the ground had dropped out beneath her. Her grief, however, was immediately interrupted by the realization that she would have to tell their three-year-old son, Jake, that his father was dying. The prognosis gave her husband just a year to live. In that short time, the three of them—Patty, Willem, and Jake—would have to find a way to live with the illness and prepare for his death.   Written with disarming honesty, courage, and humor, Patty weaves together a series of vignettes that chart her and Jake’s eventual acceptance of their new family—through coping with the daily challenges, the sorrow, and the uncertainty, as well as embracing the surprising moments of beauty and acceptance. As much about exploring memory as it is about appreciating the moment, this captivating narrative will serve as a genuine comfort to anyone surprised by grief....

Title : The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth about It)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781590304280
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth about It) Reviews

  • Ginny
    2019-06-25 04:30

    Beautiful prose. I love the stories of her creative writing class woven into her real life struggles with her husbands' illness. I blew through this. Also a wonderful book to look to if you work with grieving children, which is what made me pick it up.

  • Kristyn
    2019-06-10 10:28

    I picked this book off of the bookshelf hoping to learn something about grief and helping children, and their families through loss. It was a tough, but necessary read, especially for my profession. Everyone is going to be there for the family, giving them information, whether it's filled with medical terminology or advice as to how to get through the loss that has occurred. In my career, as a CCLS, I'm supposed to be there for the children, whether it's a child who's parent has died, or a sibling of a patient who has passed away. I was excited to open this book, as weird as that may sound, because I thought it'd give me all the answers. It didn't, but I'm not quite sure any book has all the answers as to how to help someone with death, because none of us are okay with it. None of us welcome it, and most do not know how to go through it. Each case is individual, and should be treated as so. The CCLS in the book did mention that there are three things to look out for in a child when their parent is ill, which I found extremely helpful, and plan to take with me in my career: 1. children tend to think they may have caused it 2. they may be frightened they can catch it 3. they might become sick more often or worn down, especially for the attention. It was interesting to see how a child deals with the illness of his parent, but I was able to also see that it was just one child, and other children may deal with illness and loss differently. I would have liked to see a more loving viewpoint. I felt as if the author was disconnected, and that the book lacked that love that is felt between spouses, between a parent and child. I felt myself wanting more from this book than it had to offer. Seeing the author's viewpoint on stories, and how they shape our lives was great and all, but I feel like the author could have told her story better.

  • Laren
    2019-06-12 05:44

    After marrying the love of her life and adopting a son from Lithuania, the author's husband is diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor and she must start facing a future being a single mother to a three year old. There are many short chapters which are vignettes from their lives - when they met, how his symptoms started, how she her son coped before and after the death. As a result I didn't get a really good feel for any of them as fully developed people. But honestly I was glad for the lack of connected narrative because it gave me some mental separation from the level of tragedy she experienced. Ultimately I would have to say this book is best for other persons facing similar circumstances, and there is a comprehensive list of resources at the end of the book to emphasize that this is the primary reading audience.

  • Rhlibrary
    2019-06-15 07:42

    What could be more difficult than learning your husband has only one year to live? Try explaining illness and death to your four-year-old son. Dann’s account of her family’s personal loss is at times quirky, poignant, heartbreaking, and inspiring. How do you explain death to a small child? The goldfish may go on vacation, but when a child loses a parent, honesty is important and professional guidance and support can be crucial. This book will touch your heart. And in addition to its moving story, it includes an afterword from the child psychologist who worked with Dann’s young son along with an extensive list of further resources.

  • Jen
    2019-06-04 05:44

    This was a nice short read about the author dealing with her husband's death and helping her preschool son cope with all the changes that brings. Very short chapters punctuate this book that not only tells her and her son's experiences during this difficult time, but also some others in her circle of family, friends and her writing students in their daily lives. It also reminds you that while children are small in stature, they sometimes handle loss in better ways than the adults around them and you should always be honest about what is going on.

  • Cheryl
    2019-06-05 08:21

    Her husband dies from brain cancer and she has to keep it together for her 3 year old son. She has some really beautiful insight into how to talk to children about death; and she keeps her sense of humor. She talks about how Americans have no idea that death is a price we all pay; that people in other countries have accepted death as natural even when heartbreaking. This was a start in some books I want to read to see if I have a true interest in children and grief. I think so much of it is recognizing that each child is unique with beautiful magical ways of thinking and grieving.

  • Catherine
    2019-06-14 08:40

    This is just a short, little book, but it was just right in length. Patty Dann writes of her husband's brain tumor and the effect his illness and ultimate death had on herself and the couple's three-year-old son, whom they adopted fro Lithuania. The book is sad, but it's also an examination of the grieving process for the author and her young son. The author discusses how and where she was able to find comfort from her grieving. This was a good little read.

  • Katie Lynn
    2019-06-21 07:21

    This book was easy to read, insightful, and unexpected. The author has a very real voice and addresses some very real issues in manageable bites and without a heaviness that could so easily pervade such topics. And who couldn't love that title?!Perhaps not EVERYONE's idea of a "beach read" but it was perfect for flights and short rests among hours of walking throughout Boston this last week. I feel edified, but it wasn't too heavy.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-17 04:27

    This series of vignettes chronicles the author's preparations to become a widow and single mother to her three year old son after her husband is diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. It also is a testament to the power of storytelling and writing it all down.

  • Jennifer Miera
    2019-06-04 05:28

    I've been really into memoirs lately, which is unusual for me. I think I just needed to take a break from gloom and doom. This was a brief and poignant account of a woman discovering her husband has brain cancer and how she decides to tell her young child.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-01 03:43

    I heard this author on NPR and decided to get the book. It's about helping your child deal with loss. The author is concise and includes solid advice as she writes about her own experience being a widow with a young child.

  • Adrienne
    2019-05-31 06:25

    This was a very easy, yet powerful read. I picked up this book in a bookstore, and didn't leave until I had finished reading. I was in tears as the author described her realization that she would soon be a widow and single mother after her husband dies from glioblastoma.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2019-05-25 02:36

    Dann’s husband unexpectedly is diagnosed with brain cancer. Dann and her young son try to deal with his impending death. The fresh thoughts of the son and of Dann’s elderly writing students give this book great strength.

  • Shelbey
    2019-06-17 03:48

    This book is very simple but it's also very honest. It seems like nothing was held back and it's believable that this is how they experienced the whole situation. Jake broke my heart, I wanted to give him one big hug while reading the entire book. I'd definitely suggest this book.

  • Sue Kozlowski
    2019-06-02 04:41

    Non-fiction. Short but good. Willem gets brain cancer and has a year. Patty has to tell their 3 yr old son, Jake. Need to let kids know what's going on!

  • Mary Ellen
    2019-06-23 08:40

    My notes say: "Good resource if a parent dies"I am prepared for anything, apparently.

  • Jessica Gray
    2019-06-03 08:27

    Very quick, easy to read. I am all about dealing with the inevitable. really is cute though.

  • Nimra
    2019-06-24 07:41


  • lee lee
    2019-06-03 08:49

    i'm proposing this for our next bookclub book!

  • Colleen
    2019-06-15 07:49

    What an amazing little book. Straight up and no messing around. Honest, concise, and touching. I could not put it down.

  • Crystal
    2019-06-16 05:31

    This book was pretty touching..

  • Olwen
    2019-06-07 07:48

    Fabulous book for anyone who wants to learn more about how to talk with a child about grief and loss.

  • Kika
    2019-06-16 02:25

    I would definitely recommend this book to someone going through the death of a loved one. The author was very honest and open about her experiences.

  • Tate
    2019-06-05 07:50

    Memoir about a woman and her young son who lose their husband/father to cancer. Touching and informative.

  • Terrie
    2019-06-21 09:22

    Three Dog Life is much better.

  • Johanna
    2019-06-03 07:25

    Literally found this book at Barnes and Noble, and sat down and read it in one hour. Compelling stuff.

  • Marianna Monaco
    2019-06-13 08:47

    I love this writing style - short 3 page sections."Ms. Dann shares the hard-won wisdom that the way to speak about death is honestly and openly ... especially with a child".

  • Laura Siegel
    2019-06-23 09:31

    A lovely memoir of loss written in brief easily readable sections. I particularly like the way she handles grief and loss for her 3-4 year old son.