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This is not a story about a boy who lived. Or parents who risked it all to save their child. Or miracle cures, miracle workers, or miracles generally. This is a story about a mother who learned to live without her boy.


Eleven days before giving birth to twin daughters, Erin learns that her two-year-old son, Sam, has terminal brain cancer. She and her husband, Mike, turn their lives upside down to care for their three children, knowing one of them will die, and to build a new world – one in which Sam can be happy.


Inspired by Sam’s final words, I am happy is a memoir in which a mother’s deeply held beliefs about who we are, what we do, what we deserve, and the meaning of happiness and unconditional love are incinerated by the experience of caring for and losing a terminally ill child. Without these beliefs, Erin finds something unexpected: the freedom to be present for all of life’s gifts, the freedom to become a truer and happier version of herself, and the freedom to mother a child who is no longer alive.

I Am Happy Book by Erin Benson

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