“August Farewell” by David G. Hallman— Saying Goodbye Forever

Hallman, David G. “August Farewell “, iUniverse, 2011.

Saying Goodbye Forever

Amos Lassen

In August, 2009 the doctor told David Hallman and his partner Bill Conklin that Bill had pancreatic cancer and nothing else could be done for him. This book is about the sixteen days that followed and when David said his final goodbye to the man he has lived with and love for thirty-three years. As David remembers Bill we are treated to his talking with humor and affection for the man he loved. Both men were involved in social justice and they cared about our environment, loved the arts and to travel and they were both deeply spiritual men.

As I read, there were times that I felt as if I was violating the author’s privacy as this is such a personal book. Their beautiful and loving relationship ended quickly and David gives us an intimate look at what they shared. We do not feel the anger that David might have felt about losing his partner and we actually get to know both David and Bill here. We are with them as they travel and I found it amazing that I was there with them.

I do not want you to think that the book is depressing because it is not. Rather it is uplifting and since we know how it will end, we are ready for that. Being with David and Bill during some of their shared moments is a treat and the author has written about them beautifully. One cannot help being pulled into the narrative and I found it to be an affirmation of life. I feel I must make note of David as a caregiver—he is so strong and showed his love while many of us might not have been able to do what he did.