Hail the Traveler: On Walking My Mother Home (Paperback)
Death will come for us all. In most cases, for many of our loved ones before ourselves. Those loved ones may include our parents as we can generally expect that we will outlive them. It's one of the benchmark initiations that most of us go through: losing our parents on our road to adulthood. Although this is an inevitable transition in our lifetimes, little is typically said or written about the experience. The roadmaps on the terrain are hard to find and often harder to interpret. Ram Dass posited that we are all just "walking each other home." In Hail the Traveler, Mark DeMaio explores just what it takes to walk a loved one home and shares wisdom earned from the experience. This book journals this process through the lens of a dedicated son in the challenging but extremely meaningful process of helping his mother navigate aging, dementia, institutional living, palliative care, and more. The conversations and meditations that result form a tapestry of insightful and caring reflections on service to others, our culture's limited perspective on aging and dying, and how we move forward after devastating loss and struggle. It's a dedicated tribute in which the author embraces the necessary vulnerability to attain a poignant and life-affirming resolution and speak on matters closest to the heart- often left unsaid. Woven into the work are relevant quotes, lyrics, and poems from many of the great spiritual psychonauts of our times. This work is relevant for any living person facing the loss of a loved one. Even the most conventional of lives needs love and compassion enough to face the death of both loved ones and, ultimately, oneself.