By Laura B. Hayden
Staying Alive: A Love Story is a memoir of loss and recovery about the author's search for meaning after the untimely death of her 49-year-old husband. Told with the grit and wit of a true survivor, her and her childrens' experience through more than ten years may be considered a quiet triumph and touchstone for anyone who has suffered -- or will suffer -- great loss.
Called a beautiful reminder of what really matters, the book has been named one of the three top memoirs of 2011 by Reader Views and was nominated for the 2012 CSPA Book of the Year in the Christian Living category. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals recently noted, " bereavement counselors can also learn how a person finds strength in writing about his or her own loss from these stories."
In her luminous memoir, Staying Alive: A Love Story, Laura B. Hayden shares personal observations about loss and grief written after the death of her beloved 49-year-old husband, Larry. Faced with raising two children alone and her own struggle with cancer, Hayden digs deep to tell her poignant story of life reinvented. Her astute observations of the natural world clearly informed her ability to create a totally invested life for herself and her children. Here, they contribute to her inspired and vividly real story of perseverance that speaks to human resilience and the power of love.
Irene Sherlock, author of Equinox
With vivid candor, Laura Hayden acknowledges the many ways grief overwhelms a young woman as she builds a “new normal” after her husband’s untimely death. Leading the reader into her life and the lives of her two children, Laura searches for a reason to make sense of the tragedy. Never with pity, Laura embraces the image of her husband in their children, as they grow into adults. When tragedy strikes again, in the form of cancer, Laura gives the reader another glimpse of faith and strength. Told through her voice, Laura will take you on a journey of love and sorrow, joy and hope, and ultimately the conclusion that our loved ones are never completely gone from us.
Elizabeth F. Szewczyk, author of My Bags Were Always Packed: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Cancer Treatment and Remission
Laura Hayden's memoir is a powerful reflection on the most unimaginable loss a person can suffer--the sudden death of a spouse. Hayden is a rare author who combines personal maturity, honesty, and wisdom with an excellent writer's sense for how to tell her story in a way that discovers the universal humanity in such a private event. She is able to celebrate the beauty and joy of life while simultaneously plumbing the depths of a great sorrow. To invoke a cliché that is perfectly apt in the case of Laura Hayden's new book, "you'll laugh, you'll cry." Most of all, you'll connect.
John Sheirer, author of Loop Year and Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere