dad died then mom book

By Malia Arries 

In Dad Died, Then Mom, Malia, along with her siblings, Bill, Marvel, Franchion, and Shonnie, guides you through something you do not want to experience – until you come to realize, as they did, it can be the experience of a lifetime. 

Malia is not a nurse, a doctor, nor a psychologist. She is a family caregiver who is writing to you as a family caregiver. Because you are looking for a deep and hands-on realization of what you or someone you know might be going through, or will be going through, you may feel better able to connect with her even though every individual situation is different. Offering insight to prepare and help you through your journey, she shares her family’s journey. 

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Five siblings came face-to-face with the inevitable. Their parents were dying. They did not divide. They came together and worked as a team because it was not about them, it was about what was best for their dad and then their mom. 

Rather than being a syrupy, depressing story, Dad Died, Then Mom is a heartwarming story. Of course there are plenty of distressing and tearful moments, but there are also moments filled with comforting smiles and even laughter. Moreover, the beyond-this-world moments Arries describes are awe-inspiring. 

Malia’s goal in writing Dad Died, Then Mom is to familiarize you with what may happen and to offer you options on how to address issues by sharing the actual, day-by-day, journaled occurrences she, along with her brother and three sisters, encountered with their dad and then their mom. Her aim is for you to read this story so you might also choose to experience this truly extraordinary time of life with your loved one, or to compare your experience… or perhaps you.

Who Is Malia Arries?

Hi, I’m Malia and I am a wife, a mom to two dogs, and the author of Dad Died, Then Mom. 

Family, friends, dogs, and dancing, are what I live for (and eating vanilla ice cream cones once in a while). 

During a usual day, I’m likely to be at my computer, throwing a ball for my dog, relaxing on our outdoor swing, or watching a movie. I am pretty much retired, but continue to teach a few ballrooms and Latin dance classes; I practice patterns often so I won’t forget them – well, at least the ones I can still remember. 

Darrell (husband), Ellie (Labrador), Shelby (Border Collie/Labrador), and I live full-time in our vintage Prevost bus. Everything we own is in our “grand old lady” or in the Jeep we tow.  Spending summers near Minocqua, WI and winters near Pahrump, NV takes us from lush woods and lakes to barren deserts and mountains. We love them both! 

Maybe I will be Malia Arries

After sharing with one of my dearest friends the extraordinary occurrences that my siblings and I  journaled during the time Dad was dying, and two years later during the time Mom was dying,  she told me I should write a book about them. I responded, “Maybe I will.”  

However, my husband, Darrell, and I adjusted to a life that no longer included the numerous five-hour roundtrip drives to help care for Mom and Dad. We became more involved with our friends and doing other things we enjoyed – like going to fantastic Northwoods Wisconsin supper clubs. (I would be more than happy to recommend the best ones to you!) 

I settled in enjoying teaching ballroom and Latin dance classes – I absolutely love doing that! I  tell people not to worry about getting all the patterns exactly right because I’m really just teaching them how to have fun. 

Moreover, Darrell was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer) two years after Mom died.  The treatments took their toll on him. Even though now (five years later) he is still in remission,  his care continues. I had completely forgotten about writing a book.  

Until, as I wrote, “I had just lain down on the sofa to take an afternoon nap when, for some unexplainable reason, visions with words began popping into my mind describing the night Dad died. It was so overwhelming, I needed to get up and start typing them into a document. And this was over six years after both Dad and Mom had died! I noted to call my sister, Franchion, to ask her if I could borrow The Notebook. It was the type of diary we kept during Dad’s, and later  Mom’s, time in home hospice care.” 

In Dad Died, Then Mom I share with you how my siblings, Bill, Marvel, Franchion, Shonnie,  and I navigate something we have no desire to experience – until it becomes the experience of a  lifetime. 

Psst, don’t tell my two dog-kids, Ellie and Shelby, that I’ve already written the first chapter of my next book. Maybe I’ll complete it. 

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