cover image I’ll Be Seeing You: A Memoir

I’ll Be Seeing You: A Memoir

Elizabeth Berg. Random House, $27 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-13467-2

Berg (The Confession Club) eloquently explores the pain of realizing one’s parents are in their declining years. After her father began to develop dementia in 2010 (later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s) and her mother was less able to shovel snow or use the stairs at the Minnesota house they’d lived in for 45 years, they moved into a senior community that her father enjoyed, but her mother barely tolerated. Their 68-year marriage became strained, and Berg’s brother and sister helped to defuse tensions by, among other things, accompanying their father to breakfast at the senior home, and getting their mother to join a book club at the facility. Two years after they moved into assisted living, however, Berg realized that the end of her father’s life was near. “Sometimes we feel pretty certain that we know what’s coming,” Berg muses. “But really, we never do. We just walk on. We have to.” Her father died the day after Christmas, just minutes after sharing with a caregiver a dream he had of fishing with his brother; Berg’s mother died three years later in hospice, with her parting words to her daughter, “I will miss you, too.” This bittersweet, touching story will particularly resonate with those caring for older parents. (Oct.)