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About Mary F McDonough
Mary F McDonough is a writer, therapist, maker, and communication consultant. She has over 20 years of experience working with people in large organisations, hospitals, schools, and universities, with a particular interest in end of life care. Mary holds a PhD in Creative Writing, and lives in Italy with one husband, 2 boys, and wolf dog.
FAMILY SECRETS: all families have at least one. Shameful ones, dark ones, sad ones. 'Premature' babies born before they should have been; babies who looked like family friends, rather than their fathers; women who did anything to keep food on the table, when men couldn't or wouldn't work. Most of these secrets are harboured by women; they respect and fear them enough not to misplace or forget the secrets. They love the rest of us enough not to tell the secrets publicly.
I know what happens to families when the secret-keeping mothers and grandmothers die or, dementing, forget and are themselves lost. Families unravel, as if the secret no one knew or talked about was the thing that kept the family together. I hear secret things, things no one else has ever heard, and try to keep the secrets safe, because they might be all that my patients have left of who they were or were not allowed to be.