My Mourning Year—A Memoir of Bereavement, Discovery and Hope by Andrew Marshall
Losing his partner to a long and debilitating illness was hard enough but Andrew Marshall had to do it in a foreign language and a foreign land. Worse still, he discovered his family were not there when he needed him. All adrift, he started a diary about the first year after the death of his partner Thom.
He wrote about the mistakes he made, like a rebound relationship, and what helped his recovery: looking after a badly behaved dog, making pilgrimages to places that had been important to his partner, forging a better relationship with his parents and using his job as a journalist to talk about death with a series of famous names. There are also funny encounters with gurus and mediums.
The diary was never meant for publication but he showed it to various friends over the years who found solace in the realisation that bereavement was not turning them mad and that their feelings were the natural and normal reaction to a huge loss. To mark the twentieth anniversary of Thom’s death, Andrew had decided to publish his diary for the following reasons:
- To make you feel less alone on your path to recovery
- To offer hope that things will get better
- To stop you making the same mistakes he made
- To show mourning is a natural process and nothing to be hidden away
- To encourage a better understanding of bereavement
Thom and Andrew
Thom was born in Lüdenschied, Germany and went to Zepplin Gymnasium. He started his career as a peformer in cabaret (as part of a radical gay theatre troupe) and in Opera. His credits include Die Fledermaus at the Bochum Stadttheater in 1980.
Thom studied to become a teacher – specialising in teaching German for foreign students and believed passionately that learning languages brings people together. He spoke German, English, French and Spanish. At Projekt Deutsch Lernen in Dortmund, he was the headmaster until 1995, when he moved to the UK. Thom died in March 1997.
Andrew Marshall (Biography)
Andrew was born in Northampton and went to Bedford School and Warwick University. His original career was in radio where he was a journalist at BRMB Radio in Birmingham. He has presented daily programmes on Essex Radio and Radio Mercury (where he was also Programme Controller). He was Deputy Programme Controller of Talk Radio UK.
His plays have been performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (Coming Around Again) and have toured all over the UK (Caruso and the Quake, Caruso and the Monkey House Trial, Madam Butterfly Returns). In 1985, he was selected and trained by Relate as a couple counsellor but is now in private practice.
Monday 18th September 2017: Hurstpierpoint Festival
Tuesday April 18th 2017: Launch Evening, Waterstones Brighton
Andrew read from My Mourning Year and discussed the book with Sarah Hutchings (Cityreads).
My Mourning Year in the Media
How to grieve: a relationship counsellor’s diary of love and loss – The Telegraph, May 15 2017
If you would to arrange an event with Andrew or are interested in foreign rights for My Mourning Year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org