How do you start a new life when the person you love is about to die?
At the age of thirty-six, my wife Magteld was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a devastating blow just as we were preparing to move with our two autistic children to her native Netherlands. Eighteen months later, as their plans seemed to be back on course, came the second blow: Magteld was terminally ill and possibly had only a few months to live. As her health rapidly deteriorated, we became caught up in a race against time to get a dying mother home and give our children a future in a country they hardly knew. How could we build a new life in the midst of grief and loss? How would our two sons adjust to such enormous changes? And what would remain of Magteld once she was gone?
All the Time We Thought We Had is a story of love and loss and a meditation on grief and memory. It’s about how events shape our lives and how we cope with them. And it raises important questions about what we value in life and the legacies we leave behind.
“A triumph … original and devastatingly clear-eyed.”
Rosemary Goring, Literary Editor, The Herald