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by Fredrick Swan
Two days before he would die from a cardiac arrest and be resuscitated following a routine medical procedure, Fred Swan wrote a skeptical prayer in a journal. Discouraged and depressed he asked the Universe that he might wake from his upcoming procedure a “changed man, a man with a differing view” of his life. In the days ahead, a physician cautioned his family, “Before we start worrying about how he will climb the stairs, let us first determine if he has brain function.” A portion of Swan’s sight and his ability to comprehend the passage of time did not accompany his eventual journey back up the hill to his house.
Ten months later the same physician who had both saved his life and cautioned Swan’s family about the potential for brain damage was summoned to perform open-heart surgery on Swan’s wife. A story of childhood, a story of love, a story of aging, “Parentheses” sensitively explores a life on the other side of a “miracle,” a life on the other side of the “light,” where all things are not clear and peaceful, where neither all truths nor all insights have been revealed.
This beautifully constructed and experimental memoir provides a rare and sensitive glimpse into the heart and the mind of a man as he searches through his troubled childhood, his quest as an adult to meet a birth parent, his life as a father and a husband, his questions about the existence of God and the psychological debris left from a catastrophic physical event. Parentheses: My Life Before, During and After My Death is a story of hope and of the resiliency of the human spirit. It takes a journalistic, introspective and spirited path that will resonate with readers who, despite the enormous losses and challenges we all eventually encounter, continue to hope and who continue to aspire to use to the fullest any day and any potential they are given.
About the author
Fredrick Swan is an
artist and an author whose career has encompassed years of working as a child
and family counselor, an individual therapist and serving as a field instructor
at a graduate school of social work. Aware that he is one of the few people on
earth who has lived to explore the meaning of their own death in the context of
their life, he is currently writing a blog to inspire others to reimagine their
His artwork has been shown in the Northwest for a number of years, has appeared in two seasons of a television series, a movie and is in collections of people living in the United States and Europe.
Fredrick writes and paints beside a creek just outside the diverse river port city of Portland, Oregon. The father of four, his art work and blog can be found at www.fredrickswan.com.
“Parentheses – A Memoir of My Life Before, During, and After My Death” is available on Amazon where you can read a preview of the book and its reviews.