In March of 2008, Matthew Logelin suddenly lost his high school sweetheart and wife, Liz, to a pulmonary embolism just twenty-seven hours after she had given birth to their first child, Maddy. In his grief, Logelin took to candidly blogging about his emotions and fears. Logelin's blog ended up becoming a sensation, as readers from all around the world connected with struggles.
Logelin's memoir Two Kisses for Maddy was made possible through the unwitting success of his blog. The book is dedicated to Maddy and serves as a more formal approach to documenting his relationship with Liz, her death and his first years as a single parent. Although more structured than a blog, it is not writing without raw emotion. Logelin is not a writer by trade, he fell into this new career through tragedy. He has tons of talent, but it's raw and i feel as a reader, this is what I responded to so strongly. He's not polished, swears often and doesn't sugarcoat or sentimentalize memories. Logelin has a knack for writing in a genuine voice.
I seem to pick a lot of books having to do with loss and grieving. It's therapeutic. Logelin's story had some odd parallel time from to grief that i experienced in my own life. Liz and Matt are my age. Liz died in Pasadena, just a six weeks after my mom died just miles away in a Glendale Hospital. Just by the descriptions of places, I am fairly certain that they lived in a nearby neighborhood. My heart skipped a beat when Logelin mentioned a doctor Wada on Liz's death certificate. My mom has the same name on hers. Even though the circumstances are very different, there are a lot of commonalities with grief and processes that you need to attend to when a loved one dies. I think knowing that their family was experiencing grief at the same time as mine and in a local community, gave me pause.
i connected a lot on a different level. My father died when i was four and I really don't remember him. There are so many ways to handle the issue, but i loved and respected how Logelin used his memoir as a legacy for Maddy. He did Liz and Maddy justice, by writing Liz as a real person, not just letting her death elevate her into a saintly figure. One day, when Maddy is old enough, she will read this and know that she had amazing parents who loved her and each other so much. The stories of her parents courtship will not be distorted through time. i wish that i had more information on my parents and who they were before i came along. I feel like this book is such an amazing gift. it gave me perspective into fears that my mom must have experienced as a single parent, but that i was never privy to.
Parts of this book were sad and difficult to read, but I ultimately walked away thinking that this was such a positive, uplifting story. Maddy is so lucky to have an amazing father and Matt is so lucky to be blessed with a great kid. I loved the pictures of two of them globe trotting and visiting places that were special to Liz.