A mother's advice to her daughter--a guide to daily living, both practical and sublime--with full-color illustrations throughout.

One sleepless night while she was in her early twenties, illustrator/writer Hallie Bateman had a painful realization: Someday, her mother would be gone. The prospect was devastating, and also scary--how would she navigate the world without the person who gave her life? She thought about all the motherly advice she would miss--advice that could help her through a host of future challenges that might arise, including the ordeal of losing a parent. 

The next day, Hallie asked her mother, writer Suzy Hopkins, to record step-by-step instructions for her to follow in the event of her mom's death. The list began: "Pour yourself a stiff glass of whiskey and make some fajitas" and continued from there, walking Hallie through the days, months, and years of life after loss, with motherly guidance and support, addressing issues great and small--from choosing a life partner to baking a quiche. The project became a way for mother and daughter to discuss the everyday realities of grief, and to do so honestly, with humor, openness, and gratitude. It led to a book they hope will help other families have similar conversations.

What to Do When I'm Gone is the illustrated instruction manual for getting through life without one's mom, combining Suzy's pithy and heartfelt advice with Hallie's quirky and colorful visual style. It's also a poignant look at loss and mourning, love and relationships, and getting through the phases of life one moment at a time, up to and including the end. This sounds heavy, but humor and great recipes ease the pain. By turns whimsical, funny, and touching, and above all pragmatic, it will leave readers laughing and teary-eyed. And it will spur conversations that enrich family members' understanding of one another

What to Do When I'm Gone

  • What to Do When I'm Gone 

    A Mother's Wisdom to Her Daughter  

    By: Suzy Hopkins 

    ISBN: 9781632869685