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A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent

book about aging parents

A Chance to Say Goodbye:

Reflections on Losing a Parent

Available on Kindle and paperback on AmazonBarnes and Noble and Indie Bound.

Throughout the years, Lisa and her dad had a tenuous relationship. In her youth, she was disappointed and angered by his behavior, distancing herself from him and blaming him for the sudden end to their intact comfortable family life. As a young adult and after her father’s sudden heart attack, Lisa was given a second chance to heal their relationship. Over the next three decades, they became closer, enjoying time together, including travel. When her dad entered his eighties, and while still raising her own children, Lisa found herself unprepared for his steady health decline. Suddenly, she was thrust into the role of overseeing his care as he began to experience increasing disability and the beginnings of dementia.

Gold Winner in “Aging Family” & Honorable Mention in “Life Journey”

A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.

Not having prepared for or anticipated such a role, Lisa floundered as she attempted to address his ever-changing situation. The closeness and healing they had achieved was challenged as her father resisted conversations about his failing health and his care, exacerbated by a western medical system that fell short to prepare them for the end of his life.

A moving tribute to a remarkable man and a daughter’s experience of losing her dad, A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.

 Bronze Winner in “Mature Living/Aging” 

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Finalist in “Death and Dying” 

Editorial Reviews

Starred Review 
“Part tribute, part memoir, part guide, A Chance to Say Goodbye succeeds on all counts, with lyrical writing and thorough research… In recounting her father’s story, Shultz enables readers to share in her loss. And she offers a wealth of practical advice on everything from writing an obituary to clearing out a house… Thought provoking and absorbing, A Chance to Say Goodbye has much to offer readers willing to confront the challenging subject of end-of-life.” 
BlueInk Review

This book can change our entire society for the better and allow everyone ‘a chance to say goodbye’ with those we love.”
Karen M. Wyatt MD, author of What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying, wrote the foreword to A Chance to Say Goodbye.

“Shultz is a self-critical guide through the process of loss, but she also seems to find some peace in the idea that her insights might help others to make healthier choices. Communication stands out as an essential tool, and Shultz’s preparatory notes are full of sage advice. Prose is clear and direct, and the end result is both reflective and encouraging.A Chance to Say Goodbye is a heartfelt, moving reminder that loving words are never wasted. In its personal nature, it makes convincing arguments against risking regret.” 
 
“I finished reading A Chance to Say Goodbye with much to contemplate. I closed the book feeling powerfully driven to mimic Lisa J Shultz’s resolve to prepare for a death that, rather than heavily burdening my loved ones, will allow them to peacefully accept, joyfully reflect, and quickly restore themselves and move on…A Chance to Say Goodbye is a wise and inspiring guide to living. I highly recommend it for anyone at risk of losing, or leaving, someone they love.”
Reader’s Favorite Review

Finalist in “Health: Aging/50+”

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More Praise for a Chance to Say Goodbye

“This personal narrative of a universal experience is both touching and useful. Lisa gently guides the way through navigating the death of a parent, an experience many will face but few will be prepared for. Her honesty on a difficult topic is refreshing. After reading this book, I feel more confident in facing what lies ahead.”
Gwen Van Velsor, Author of Follow That Arrow

“A Chance to Say Goodbye is a book anyone who has aging parents needs to read. The experience of parenting a parent through medical, financial, and even the issues of daily living can be so frustrating and isolating. Read Lisa’s book and you’ll know you’re not alone. You’ll gain key understanding for the time when you are about to enter this phase with a parent. Insightful and beautifully written!”
Gayla Wick, Author of The Art of Attracting Authentic Love

“Lisa shares a touching life experience in A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent. Part memoir, part historical documentary, part tutorial on aging and dying, this wonderful work does not leave anything out in preparing for the journey of losing a loved one. Her thorough research gives the reader many resources to consider and her well-chosen quotes comfort, inspire and challenge one’s spirit for the time they begin this difficult journey. Death is a natural part of Life’s progression, and Lisa helps the reader navigate this season with much tenderness and honesty.”
Connie Pshigoda
Author of The Wise Woman’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide with Recipes for New Beginnings that Never Go Out of Season

“This book is deeply personal and insightful. You’re sure to gain valuable knowledge as well as important tools and resources from Lisa’s exceptional book. She offers honest emotions from her experience. I also enjoyed getting to “know” her father as a vibrant and healthy man, prior to his failing health. A must-read!”
Kate Heartsong, Author of Deeply We Are One

“A Chance to Say Goodbye is a labor of love and a must-read. The author tells a heartwarming and heart-wrenching account of her relationship with her father. In today’s society, we avoid thinking of the later years in our relative’s lives. This book should remind all adult children with aging parents that they must prepare for their loved ones’ future as well as their own. Thank you, Lisa! “
Karen Owen-Lee
Author of The Caring Code and The Caring Crisis, CEO and founder of Housing Options for Seniors, Inc.

“If you are in the sandwich generation, you need this book. Lisa Shultz’s honest, compassionate, and compelling exploration of her own reactions in assisting her dad to complete his life make the process of caring for and losing an aging parent unflinchingly real. The resources she discovered and shares will help you prepare to meet the inevitable challenges that arise when you assume similar responsibilities.
Dr. Laurie Weiss
Author of Letting It Go: Relieve Anxiety and Toxic Stress in Just a Few Minutes Using Only Words

“This is an outstanding book about Life, Death, and Caretaking. Beginning with a biography of her father, A Chance to Say Goodbye is not just a memoir, but rather sets the scene for her experiences and frustrations as her father’s caregiver at the end of his life. She gently explains her experience as daughter and supervisor of his final years. Finally, Lisa masterfully moves into ‘how to mode’ and gives a detailed blueprint of the steps each of us might follow to prevent the difficulties she experienced. A worthwhile book about a very difficult subject, it is beautifully written, interesting, and personal, moving the reader effortlessly though the frustrations of caretaking, dying, and death. After reading it, you will be grateful to Lisa Shultz for her insights on this sensitive subject.”
Rhondda Hartman
Award-Winning Author of Natural Childbirth Exercises for the Best Birth Ever and Natural Childbirth Exercise Essentials

“Full of resources and insights, A Chance to Say Goodbye is a helpful read for anyone navigating the journey with an aging loved one. The section on the caregiver’s own grieving process is just as helpful as how to talk to your loved one about their impending death.” 
Jan Haas
Author of Moving Mountains: One Woman’s Fight to Live Again

“With captivating transparency, Lisa Shultz shares fun memories, uncertainties, fears, emotions, and challenges of becoming the caregiver, watching her father slowly weaken. The insights and lessons learned will prove valuable to those being cared for as well as those involved with end-of-life matters on behalf of a loved one. The resources and questions Lisa includes will be helpful to anyone facing such decisions.” 
Ted Dreier
Author of Take Your Life Off Hold

“Lisa’s book is written with heartfelt openness, wisdom and thoughtfulness. She shares with us her life-long journey with her father and addresses her changing role and numerous challenges, truly bringing me a sense of peace regarding having been caretaker for my own father until his death several years ago. Lisa also gives important guidance for all of us in taking care of practical matters while we can.”
Liz Sower

“Award-winning author, Lisa J. Shultz, writes a book for the times. She tackles subject matter that Baby Boomers will clearly identify. The subject of this book takes a look at the complicated relationship between father, and daughter. This because of a shared history, family relationships, and the thoughtfulness involved, when a daughter becomes, caregiver in-chief.

The story weaves family history, with the issues the caregiving child must face, to take care of a parent. What happens when the parent becomes, the child, and the child, becomes the parent? Well, Lisa, with her beautiful writing, artistry, answers the question, with detail, a heartfelt storyline, and the practical knowledge needed when you have to say Goodbye.

It is difficult to say goodbye to a parent, and in some ways, you never get over it, so this book is part self-exploration, and part a guide book to others. When the parent is gone, you are consumed by memory, by dreams, and by the practical aspects of cleaning out the house. Do you move on? Probably not. So if you are in a situation where you can identify with the subject matter, of family history, to caregiving to saying Goodbye, I highly recommend this book—“A Chance To Say Goodbye, by Lisa J. Shultz.”
Rick Bava
Author of In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation

Read additional reviews on Goodreads and Amazon

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