Artist Deena Goldstein’s memoir

Artist Deena Goldstein’s memoir, “OK, Little Bird,” reflects on her bond with her father.

 

Mixed media artist-turned-author Deena Goldstein is proud of the relationship she had with her father Marc Kranitz.

She describes the two as being best friends and there was nothing the two would not do for one another. 

“We laughed, supported each other and were there for the difficult times in each other’s lives,” she said. 

That included doing everything Goldstein could to support her father near the end of his life. 

Her father had fallen terminally ill and just celebrated his 85th birthday when Goldstein feared the worst. 

Amidst this fear, she pulled out her phone and began to write. 

 “I wrote and wrote and I sat in the silence of the flipping numbers on the clock adjacent to his bed. I was in the midst of the unimaginable – losing my father and my best friend,” Goldstein said. 

She felt the most inspired by a nickname he had given her just weeks prior. 

“Much like my art, I create/write when I’m moved and inspired,” Goldstein said. “Weeks before my father passed, he called me “Little Bird”–— a pet name he had never used for me before. It was at a moment where there was so much more content and meaning behind the name and I was immediately moved and forever changed. 

“I knew at that moment “Little Bird” would take on a life of its own – and it truly did.”

The story began taking on a life of its own as Goldstein reflects on the bond they forged through humor. 

“I was inspired to not only share our relationship, but the gift of humor he lived his life with and the many critical and often life-threatening illnesses and challenges he overcame,” she said. “He never lost his sense of humor. It was this gift he gave me that provided me the strength to navigate the unthinkable deep waters of loss and most anything in my life.”

She relied on the memories of that humor to cope with her father’s passing in June 2020. 

“My father left me with the gift of humor and the ability to flip anything on its end to make it just a little bit better, his passing included,” she said. “I wanted to share with the reader the example that we have tools in our emotional arsenal that truly help, humor being such an important one.”

She also believes that humor can be a good coping mechanism for others who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. 

“Humor has played such an important and natural role in my life,” Goldstein said. “Humor removes the chill from fear and lifts our hearts from sadness and has the ability to re-frame and power through the unthinkable.”

Still, she could not shake the new nickname her father gave her in his final weeks and did not know exactly how to honor the man who raised her. 

Then Goldstein decided to revisit her writings and turn them into a memoir titled “OK, Little Bird.” 

“Although ‘OK, Little Bird’ is deeply personal to me, it speaks to readers on a variety of levels,” she said. “The book covers hospice, the experience of a loved one transitioning from home to hospice and/or group home care, impending death of a loved one and how do we handle something beyond our control and still allow ourselves to be there wholly for that person.” 

Goldstein believes her memoir can be a beacon of hope for those going through the tough experience of grief and loss as well as readers who are looking for a unique story about a unique bond forged between a father and daughter. 

“I believe those interested in reading an upbeat, irreverent, wry and unfiltered, quirky story of a unique father-daughter relationship told through anecdotes and voicemails,” Goldstein said. “Those interested in family relationships, grief, loss, humor and love to laugh and maybe shed a tear once or twice. If you have a cup of tea, a good snack, it takes the reader on a bouncy ride from laughter to poignancy.”

 “I want readers to feel they are not alone in how they deal with loss and if I can hand the humor hammer to pound out some of their pain, which fills me with incredible joy and peace,” she said. “I hope readers will laugh out loud, say ‘Oh my God, they didn’t say that!’ and sneak a laugh at something unfiltered, irreverent and just plain funny. 

“I hope they have moments where they feel their heartbeat and their breath catch with emotion as they fly with Little Bird on her journey through joy, pain, loss and laughter.”

More than anything, Goldstein hopes the book offers hope. 

“Mostly, I hope readers are left with the notion that even in the darkest moments, there is joy to be found in almost anything,” Goldstein said. 

“OK, Little Bird” is available on Amazon.com digitally and available for pre-order for paperback editions to be released on Feb. 28.

Info: Oklittlebird.com and deenasart.com 

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