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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Keep Moving, Creating a Life After Loss by Holly Rose Holland is the non-fiction memoir of the author's life with her husband Mike after a devastating cancer diagnosis, the stages being laid out as a before, during, and after. Holland begins with a picture of a typical family, their life in Canada being one of happiness and comfort. As Holland transitions into Mike's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, the memoir shifts a bit further into the self-help realm, providing experiences as the basis for assisting others who, sadly, may find themselves in a similar position. Advice is offered such as taking a family vacation when a diagnosis is received, how grief can be triggered by seemingly innocuous things, learning to manage “firsts” as a single parent, and gratitude for the moments left even when a doctor says, “Be sure to really enjoy this Christmas.”
First of all, how Holly Rose Holland was able to get Keep Moving, Creating a Life After Loss published without tear stains throughout is a mystery to me. The copy I have is now covered in them, ranging between happy and sad, particularly as her memories are detailed and her positivity just radiates from the page. My mother passed from cancer at the age of forty-three, and this is the book I wish my father had then. He fell apart not knowing what to do at all, and I don't know how we'd have coped without exactly what Holland imparts in a way I'd not considered before: through the kindness of others and faith in something greater than ourselves. Nobody wants to have to read a book like this, and I'm sorry that it needed to be written—but whether you are a person in a similar situation or you are being supportive of another who is, this is an excellent place to start.