“There isn’t a book with instructions for a father who has to deliver such news” wrote Kevin McAteer, the author of Daddy, Can You Make Me Pancakes? – The True Story of a Young Mother’s Battle Against Cancer and Her Husband’s Journey to Bring Healing to Their Family. He faced the unbelievably excruciating task of trying to explain to their three small children that their mother had died. And, that was just the beginning.
McAteer has knit together both the challenges and the joys of his journey to a new “normal.” His experiences include some of the most interesting “clueless dad” moments and how to get through them. The community of his friends and colleagues supported him and helped him in material and spiritual ways. In between writing about the struggles, he liberally sprinkles stories of his brief marriage and vignettes of the children and how they also encouraged him. The grieving was not overlooked, but it became one of the tools of healing.
A story like this could easily become maudlin in a heartbeat, but McAteer managed to avoid any such thing. There are tearful moments followed by laughter. While the book would be helpful to other bereaved parents, the light of hope in it makes it very much a book for everyone to read.