For those who mourn for Margot Adler

Short version: Read Heretic’s Heart. Now.

Long version:

Yesterday, in my post on the death of Margot Adler, I mentioned that her book Heretic’s Heart was next on my reading list.

Today, I unexpectedly had a free hour between medical appointments. I had the book on my iPad, so I started reading.

I was only a few pages into Chapter One before an eerie feeling crept over me. In the first chapter of Heretic’s Heart, Margot talks about dealing with the death of her mother. There are parallels between Margot’s passing and that of her mother, Freyda:

– Both were strong, charismatic women who had a powerful influence on those who knew her.

– Both died of cancer. In Freyda’s case, she was never told that her cancer was incurable; in the 1970s, it was considered better not to tell the patient the truth.

– Margot was roughly the same age when her mother died as her son Alex is now.

The chapter concerns Margot’s person journey as she comes to understand her mother, and come to terms with her passing.

I can’t imagine what Alex would feel if he were to read that chapter right now. For everyone else: I strongly suggest you read it. I felt a strange sense of closure somehow, as if Margot’s celebration of her mother’s life with sadness and joy helped me to fully come to terms with Margot’s death.

I still feel sad that she’s gone. But, at least for now, I feel like there’s joy there too.

Added later: I’m reading Heretic’s Heart because Margot suggested it in our phone conversation, in order to learn more about Berkeley in the 1960s. Did she realize that her book began with a chapter that related to her passing away? Did she give me an extra bit of advice, not as a reporter, but as a priestess?

Originally published at Argothald. You can comment here or there.

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