The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses by Kate Spencer

The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses

Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side.An empathetic read, The Dead Mom...

Title:The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses
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The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses Reviews

  • Melissa

    I've always thought it so interesting and peculiar that eventually every human will experience loss and grief, yet it is such a unique and personal experience. And again, people read nonfiction and memoirs about how to deal with loss, yet one person's coping mechanisms may be the exact opposite of what you need.

    Which brings me to this book. I am a part of this club, and my experience has been so very different than the author's. Which, obviously, is normal. But I was still interested in reading

    I've always thought it so interesting and peculiar that eventually every human will experience loss and grief, yet it is such a unique and personal experience. And again, people read nonfiction and memoirs about how to deal with loss, yet one person's coping mechanisms may be the exact opposite of what you need.

    Which brings me to this book. I am a part of this club, and my experience has been so very different than the author's. Which, obviously, is normal. But I was still interested in reading and learning and relating to this book. But that didn't happen.

    There was a lot of humor--which I liked!--except a lot of the jokes weren't actually funny. They were suuuuuper forced. And I didn't connect to it emotionally at all. Maybe because of the way it's written or because she had an annoyingly privileged attitude, but I just couldn't. It had some great quotes and moments, but overall, I expected to like it a lot more than I did.

  • Liz Gray

    A warning to potential readers: don’t start this book unless you have time to finish it in one or two sittings. It’s that good. Spencer writes in an engaging, self-deprecating and chatty style about a topic that most of us will experience in our lives, and her observations are heart-felt and true. You never “get over” your mother’s death, nor does your mother ever leave you. Learning to live with the tension between those two realities is what it’s all about.

  • Ashley Austrew

    I am not a member of The Dead Mom’s Club, yet this book drew me in from the very first page. In this book, Kate Spencer is warm and funny, she’s vulnerable, and most importantly, she’s honest. She tackles the experience of grief by holding nothing back, and the result is a powerful reading experience that leaves you feeling like you understand love, loss, and life just a little bit better.

  • Meryl

    I don't usually read memoirs touching grief but I knew I had to get this book after my own mother passed away two months ago. Kate Spencer wrote this touching and funny tribute to her mom and how she dealt with grief and the aftermath, things that I'm still navigating today. It's a bittersweet but hopeful read, and it's somehow reassuring to see how she managed to move forward and live with her grief. There are so many relatable quotes that I can share, but perhaps the best way to end this is wi

    I don't usually read memoirs touching grief but I knew I had to get this book after my own mother passed away two months ago. Kate Spencer wrote this touching and funny tribute to her mom and how she dealt with grief and the aftermath, things that I'm still navigating today. It's a bittersweet but hopeful read, and it's somehow reassuring to see how she managed to move forward and live with her grief. There are so many relatable quotes that I can share, but perhaps the best way to end this is with this:

    "This essence is what we have left, and what we carry and pass on. You can never lose it, no matter how deep your loss. She's in me. I'm stuck with her. And this is what unites all of us in the Dead Moms Club, besides just the obvious. Our mothers may be gone, but the essence of who they are is in us. And that is forever."

  • Susannah

    To be totally honest, I know Kate IRL (brag) and read an early draft of this book (double brag) so you can take this review with NO grains of salt because, girl, I can be objective. This is a really funny, moving, vulnerable memoir about the biggest, worst loss in Kate’s life, and all the smaller, but still devastating moments of loss that have followed in the years since. It’s also about hope and healing and friendship and family and weirdos who say weird things to you when you’re going through

    To be totally honest, I know Kate IRL (brag) and read an early draft of this book (double brag) so you can take this review with NO grains of salt because, girl, I can be objective. This is a really funny, moving, vulnerable memoir about the biggest, worst loss in Kate’s life, and all the smaller, but still devastating moments of loss that have followed in the years since. It’s also about hope and healing and friendship and family and weirdos who say weird things to you when you’re going through a difficult time. It’s a really lovely book that you will read quickly but which will stay with you long after you’ve put it down. If you are or know someone who’s a member of the Dead Mom’s Club (or the Dead Dad’s Club), you need to buy this book and then clear your afternoon for reading and crying and laughing and feeling your feelings.

  • Lisa

    This book wasn't what I expected. I wanted it to go deep, but instead it read like an extremely privileged girl's life experiences with passages like: 'You know those asshole kids who have Christmas presents stacked so high they touch the top of the tree? That's us' or 'I grew up spending summers on a tiny lake in New Hampshire, which was as idyllic as it sounds.' About how her mother bought her everything she couldn't afford 'just because'. She talks about grieving in yoga classes, Trader Joe's

    This book wasn't what I expected. I wanted it to go deep, but instead it read like an extremely privileged girl's life experiences with passages like: 'You know those asshole kids who have Christmas presents stacked so high they touch the top of the tree? That's us' or 'I grew up spending summers on a tiny lake in New Hampshire, which was as idyllic as it sounds.' About how her mother bought her everything she couldn't afford 'just because'. She talks about grieving in yoga classes, Trader Joe's, the dog groomer's and Weight Watchers - which she joined even though she made sure to point out- she didn't actually need to lose weight (lest you think she was there for that reason!) She advocates traveling to the Caribbean for the holidays as a solution to having to face them sans her mother (trips bankrolled by her father) where heated arguments break out about whether or not to wait to eat at the Lobster Shack, and this kind of argument is analysed as part of real grief.

    She talks about having to tell people her mother had died, and complains when people bring it up (wouldn't it be insulting if they didn't?) There are few moments of 'real' or depth...and even though I realize that some people do live this kind of a life (and if you do, chances are high you'll love this book! If you're all about khakis and boat shoes, designer clothes and the Dave Matthews band this book is your jam!) I, however, felt there was far too much back-handed bragging (which may be unintentional- she may not realize her privilege), or advice for the average person (middle class and below) who had to deal with say, your deceased mother's finances, clearing out her things, or coming to grips in less than ideal conditions- say, if they don't have a spouse to handle the millions of details (probate court, insurance benefits, unpaid bills, death certificates, etc.)

    Of course I feel awful for anyone who has lost their mom, but I hope the author realizes that her example is one where the absolute BEST of conditions are in place, and that for many people the road is not paved in gold, and what's left behind is an intricate course of obstacles, with a million enormous decisions that land on your shoulders, unsupported by unlimited cash and a large group of loving people . Or anyone.

  • Meghan Pluimer

    I wanted to love this book. I lost my mom around the same age as the author and I eagerly ordered it and read it immediately. Unfortunately I did not personally connect with the author’s style. I felt much of the book that she was trying too hard to keep it light and insert jokes because the topic is so heavy, and accordingly the tone didn’t feel natural to me. There were parts that did resonate with me, particularly her chapter on wanting your grief back when things start to get easier, but I s

    I wanted to love this book. I lost my mom around the same age as the author and I eagerly ordered it and read it immediately. Unfortunately I did not personally connect with the author’s style. I felt much of the book that she was trying too hard to keep it light and insert jokes because the topic is so heavy, and accordingly the tone didn’t feel natural to me. There were parts that did resonate with me, particularly her chapter on wanting your grief back when things start to get easier, but I struggled to stay engaged through a lot of chapters. I admit I had to force myself to finish it.

  • Sue

    Unfortunately, I am a new member in this club and I ordered Kate's book to try to find some ideas about dealing with my grief. Because the situations were very different, parts of the book didn't resonate with me but there were other parts that were very meaningful.

    The author has divided the book into different sections - example - Breaking the News, Holidays, Being Motherless and at the end of each section she has ideas of how to handle certain situations. The book is written with humor and isn

    Unfortunately, I am a new member in this club and I ordered Kate's book to try to find some ideas about dealing with my grief. Because the situations were very different, parts of the book didn't resonate with me but there were other parts that were very meaningful.

    The author has divided the book into different sections - example - Breaking the News, Holidays, Being Motherless and at the end of each section she has ideas of how to handle certain situations. The book is written with humor and isn't a book that is written in a weepy fashion. Whether you are part of the club or not, it's a book that will make you smile and that's always a good thing to do.

  • Kimberly Burkett

    I recommend this book to anyone who has lost someone close to them, or anyone who loves someone going through this kind of loss. I discovered the author through an article she wrote and enjoyed it so much I went looking for more. Kate Spencer offers great insight into the grieving process, combined with practical and humorous advice for anyone hoping to be a better support system for their grieving loved ones. I finished the book in one day because I only put it down when I had to.

  • Tamie

    • Hi! English isn't my mother language and I'm self-taught, so, sorry for any mispelled words and everything in between.

    I don't recomend this reading if you recently had lost your mother. You'll hate the author. Just don't read it now, wait at least a few months. Then you will understand and relate to the phases of grief she describes and the aspects of it.

    Kate is a comedian and made this book sometimes ironical, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Each chapter ends with a list of things to do in ca

    • Hi! English isn't my mother language and I'm self-taught, so, sorry for any mispelled words and everything in between.

    I don't recomend this reading if you recently had lost your mother. You'll hate the author. Just don't read it now, wait at least a few months. Then you will understand and relate to the phases of grief she describes and the aspects of it.

    Kate is a comedian and made this book sometimes ironical, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Each chapter ends with a list of things to do in case of a specific scenario presented before, or observations, but in a way that feels like reading chicklit. And if you're on the first stages of grief, that kind of thing it's not so funny. Why, how could she? How could she make fun of the worst loss of our lives? Because she was desperate before. She had her time (almost 10 years while writing the book) to process everything.

    It's a good read and I finished it feeling comforted knowing that such "club" of people exists. That I'm not the only one holding on to the little things my mother did, like her last shopping list or keeping the last box of soap she opened. I can understand Kate's humour about this now, almost four years later. If I had put my hands on this book in 2014, I would not fully embrace it.

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