Damon and Immortal Bird Anniversary Update
–Last week on March 30th was the eighth anniverary of Damon’s death. As readers of Immortal Bird know, he is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, in the Day family plot. Damon was related on his mother’s side to Clarence Day of Life With Father fame and he is buried alongside Katherine “Peggy” Day, Clarence’s wife, who he knew well because she lived into her nineties and we spent summers with her in Truro as well as some Thanksgivings in New York.
–Those who have experienced similar loss know that even eight years is a trifle.
–On April 1, I did a reading from Immortal Bird at Claremont-McKenna College and introduced Damon and his story to more people, largely students and professors. For me, each reading is like a sacrament in which I spread his sparkling spirit like glittery ashes or pixie dust that is scattered a little further across the earth.
–On April 5, Damon’s brother Sam, nearly five years Damon’s junior, celebrated his 20th birthday. Damon was 16 and 3/4 when he died.
–The paperback of Immortal Bird came out two months ago and the book continues to have a life of its own.
–As previously noted, in February it was the lead story in a medical publication, Congenital Cardiology Today, where it was used as a study guide and basis for discussion groups by 36 doctors, nurses, fellows and surgeons in one hospital and where the medical director recommended that all pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons in the country read the book because it could lead to improvements in patient care and communication.
–And in March, The New York Times Sunday Book Review selected the book for its Paperback Row column and wrote a cogent one-sentence summary: “With urgency and tenderness, Weber chronicles the efforts to save his eldest child, who was born with a congential heart defect, and their struggles against the received wisdom and arrogance of the American medical establishment.”
–Speaking of arogance, our lawsuit against New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center for Damon’s wrongful death remains unsettled.
–But readers continue to respond and send me beautiful letters and comments. Today I received this lovely tribute:
“Ohhh, my heart is raw and my spirit both crushed and uplifted upon having met Damon. Thank you for two wonderful gifts: having produced and nurtured him and letting the rest of us get a glimpse of him.
Please know that you brought him to life for those who don’t know him. I feel enriched for it.”
–Thank you to those who have kept Damon’s spirit alive by opening their hearts to his story.