In Nicole Chung’s memoir, A Living Remedy, Chung shares her experience of grief as she balances her role as daughter, wife, mother, and writer and the grief of losing both her parents in a short period while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
I liked this book and gave it a four out of five.
Chung tells us how her father’s health slowly deteriorated as his diabetes remained unchecked for many reasons. He spent his working years managing fast food places with low wages, and due to lack of money, inadequate insurance, and refusal of government assistance, his kidney failure became too advanced for life-saving treatments.
Chung offers us a scathing review of the healthcare system in the United States and how it fails so many.
The distance between them added to Chung’s grief and frustration, but she resolved to do better after her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. However, her time with her mother was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were times I became very emotional as Chung wrote about dealing with her mother’s terminal illness during the pandemic. The struggle between keeping her children and family safe against the inability to be at her mother’s side was poignant and, quite frankly, heartbreaking.
Chung put into words the collective grief many of us felt during the Covid shutdowns and restrictions. She makes it personal to all of us.
My only criticism of the book is that it went on a bit long. Chung was repeating much of her story over and over. As my friend Carol P. would say, “Time to wrap it up.”