New Memoir Offers Love Story about Surviving Loss

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Laura B. Hayden became an early widow while her children were still young. After years of working through her husband’s loss, she decided to share her story in a new book that offers a personal, humorous, and inspiring view into the grief process.

The loss of a loved one can lead people to question life and its purpose, and that is never truer than when a loved one is taken at a young age and unexpectedly.

Whether having experienced the loss of a loved one, or just enjoying an inspiring story of survival amidst adversity, readers will enjoy the humor and resonate with the message of Laura B. Hayden’s new memoir “Staying Alive: A Love Story” (ISBN 9781935991182, Signalman Publishing, 2011).

The loss of a loved one can lead people to question life and its purpose, and that is never truer than when a loved one is taken at a young age and unexpectedly. After Laura Hayden’s husband, Larry, died suddenly at the young age of forty-nine when he did not survive a preemptive surgery intended to prolong his life, Laura struggled to carry on but found her strength in needing to be there for her young son and daughter. The story of how this family worked through their grief is told in Hayden’s new memoir, “Staying Alive: A Love Story.”

Hayden describes how she drew strength from focusing upon the rhythms and rituals of the natural world. Wild creatures and domesticated critters, seasides and hillsides proffered comfort and understanding as she came to realize that “no more than a hairline and no less than an eternity” separated her from the man she loved. Even with the wear and tear her faith endured, it rarely diminished. Her need to care for her children and raise them to be well-adjusted adults guided her steps throughout, giving her strength when her own faith faltered.

In a recent interview with Reader Views, Hayden described how her book is different from others on coping with grief by stating, “Staying Alive: A Love Story” is just that—a story. My story. It is not meant to tell someone how to grieve. I have no business doing that. As a narrative, it is meant to show how I grieved, show how my children grieved, and show how we still grieve today. It’s the story of survivors, how we stayed alive without Larry, and how we have kept him present in our lives.”

Hayden’s focus on nature recalls Annie Dillard’s style; her objectivity is comparable to Joan Didion’s in “The Year of Magical Thinking” and Joyce Carol Oates’ in “A Widow’s Story,” and her droll sense of humor is reminiscent of Anne Lamott. But “Staying Alive” is also profoundly written in Hayden’s own voice as she recalls her husband’s humorous antics, and her and her children’s own very personal journey from grief to acceptance, from a sense of tragedy to one of quiet triumph and a new appreciation and understanding for the power of life. “Staying Alive” is not a journey readers will forget because it may well propel them farther on their own journeys.

About the Author
Laura B. Hayden is a mother, widow, teacher, and writer. She has taught English both at the high school and college levels. Laura’s writing can be found on Her print work has appeared in “The Hartford Courant,” “Northeast” magazine, the “Journal Inquirer,” “Connecticut Parent,” “Hartford Woman,” and “Imprint” publications. She is a graduate of the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing program. In 1995 her essay, “Saved by the Belle” took first place in the First Annual Mark Twain Days Essay Contest on American Politics & Government. Last year, her essay “Nesting” received an honorable mention from “Connecticut Review.” Laura is available for readings at support groups, hospital forums, church groups, schools, bookstores, and libraries in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York areas.

“Staying Alive: A Love Story” (ISBN 9781935991182, Signalman Publishing, 2011) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.


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