Cover image for Only spring : on mourning the death of my son
Only spring : on mourning the death of my son
Livingston, Gordon.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco, Calif.] : HarperSanFrancisco, [1995]

Physical Description:
xxi, 230 pages ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ416.A25 L56 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The loss of a child is every parent's worst fear. Gordon Livingston survived that tragedy not once but twice, in successive years. Only Spring, crafted from his journal, traces his son Lucas's courageous battle with leukemia, his extraordinary gift of love, and Livingston's own cycle of faith lost and hope regained. This edition includes a new epilogue by the author.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gordon Livingston introduces this brutally honest diary as the story of the life and death of his son. It is that, focusing on Livingston's experience of losing his six-year-old son, Lucas, to leukemia; it is also an account of a process of mourning permeated by his gradual realization that "love is not lost even in death." The book focuses almost entirely on the experience of Lucas' death, but the suicide of Livingston's oldest son, Andrew, the previous year, is never far below the surface. It is to Livingston's credit that he speaks not in terms of a triumph over death but of a confidence, gradually won, that love is not lost. This sets the book apart from much of the popular literature of hope and makes it an important contribution to the tradition of tragedy that moves us to humanity in the embrace of mortality. --Steve Schroeder

Publisher's Weekly Review

Psychiatrist Livingston's earlier journals of the death from leukemia of his six-year-old son, Lucas, were first published in the San Francisco Chronicle's Image magazine, where they evoked wide and warm response. In those writings, he detailed the grueling regimen (including a bone-marrow transplant from the author) that Lucas endured, bequeathing to the family a lesson about the power of the human spirit. The current journal details the depth of Livingston's struggle with the loss of Lucas and the earlier suicide of an older son, and with his rage at the medical technology that failed his child. A poignant account of an anguishing life-changing experience. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved