Bless the Birds: Living with Love in a Time of Dying
Susan J Tweit, author
Bless the Birds, a personal journey through the terra incognita of life’s ending, shows us how to be our best when life throws us the worst. Embracing the idea that love will carry us through, this story reminds us that the personal is the political. How we live—each and every day—really does impact the larger world. Our every day actions create the society we live in, and also chart our paths. Writer Susan Tweit and her economist-turned-sculptor husband Richard Cabe had just settled into their version of a “good life” when Richard saw thousands of birds one day—harbingers of the brain cancer that would kill him two years later. This compelling and intimate memoir chronicles their journey into the end of his life, framed by their final trip together, a 4,000-mile-long delayed honeymoon road trip. As Susan and Richard navigate the unfamiliar territory of brain cancer treatment and learn a whole new vocabulary—craniotomies, adjuvant chemotherapy, and brain geography—they also develop new routines for a mindful existence, relying on each other and their connection to nature, including the real birds Richard enjoys watching. Their determination to walk hand in hand, with open hearts, results in profound adjustments in their roles and their life. Bless the Birds is not a sad story. It is both prayer and love song, a guide to how to thrive in a world where all we hold dear seems to be eroding, whether that’s simple civility and respect, our health and safety, or the Earth itself. It’s an exploration of living with love in a time of dying—whether personal or global—with humor, courage, and grace. And it is in invitation to live in the light of what we love rather than the darkness of what we fear.