“A comedy for catastrophic times.” –CBC
“A hilarious memoir of effervescent misadventures.” —Toronto Star
“How am I laughing at someone’s mother’s cancer? How? We think we can’t laugh about death, about cancer, about our mothers and their suffering . . . and we can’t, but we can. And there’s so much relief in that.” –Carolyn Taylor, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW
A traumedy about life and death (and every cosmic joke in between)
When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Rachel Matlow is concerned but hopeful. It’s Stage 1, so her mom will get surgery and everything will go back to normal. But growing up in Rachel’s family, there was no normal. Elaine, an alternative school teacher and self-help junkie, was never a capital M “Mommy”–she spent more time meditating than packing lunches–and Rachel, who played hockey with the boys and refused to ever wear a dress, was no ordinary daughter.
When Elaine decides to forgo conventional treatment and heal herself naturally, Rachel is forced to ponder whether the very things that made her mom so special–her independent spirit, her belief in being the author of her own story–are what will ultimately kill her. As the cancer progresses, so does Elaine’s conviction in doing things her way. She assembles a dream team of alternative healers, gulps down herbal tinctures with every meal, and talks (with respect) to her cancer cells. Anxious and confused, Rachel is torn between indulging her pie-in-the-sky pursuits (ayahuasca and all) and pleading with the person who’s taking her mother away.
With irreverence and honesty–and a little help from Elaine’s journals and self-published dating guide, plus hours of conversations recorded in her dying days–Matlow brings her inimitable mother to life on the page. Dead Mom Walking is the hilarious and heartfelt story of what happens when two people who’ve always written their own script go head to head with each other, and with life’s least forgiving plot device.