Graphic Novel Review: dancing at the pity party: a dead mom graphic novel by Tyler Feder

dancing at the pity party: a dead mom graphic novel by Tyler Feder. Dial, 2020. 9780525553021. 202pp, including a bunch of family photographs at the end.

Tyler’s mother Rhonda was diagnosed with cancer when Tyler was a college freshman, and died not too long afterwards following intensive chemotherapy. Tyler convinced me (as she will convince you) that her mom was the coolest. Dealing with her death has been tough on Tyler, her dad, her sisters, and everyone who knew her.

Reading about her mom’s final moment (and the days of waiting for it) brought back similar experiences for me — I had to put this book down a few times and take some deep breaths. Her lists of dos and don’ts for dealing with a grieving person are spot on. And I learned a lot about shivas, which I’d heard of but never really understood. The photos at end are devastating and wonderful — don’t jump ahead unless you absolutely can’t help it.

This is going on my shelf next to Doug Stanhope’s Digging Up Mother, which has the greatest sendoff I think anyone could ever hope for (opinions will vary), and It’s OK that you’re NOT OKAY by Megan Divine, a book that helped me a few years ago after a friend died.


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