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Local Author Tackles Cancer, Loss of Parents in New Book

Very few young people in their early 20s must go through the pain of losing their mother and father.

But that’s what Mary C. Rosenthal did when she was just 22 years old, a week before her first wedding anniversary — she buried her mother after a long bout with Metastatic lung cancer. A year later, she buried her father. Both smokers and died of cancer.

Now, Rosenthol, who is a member of Manassas’s Write by the Rails publishers group and a freelance writer for Potomac Local News, has published her account of loss to help other young people who may be reeling from losing a mother, father, anyone else they held dear.

“After it happens you are miserable, people say really dumb things to you, and you’re hit with so many details at one time very little, if anything, really makes sense,” said Rosenthol about the burial and grieving process.

She began writing her book shortly after her father died 14 years ago. When she was finished, she stored it away while friends and family encouraged her to get the work published.

“I didn’t write it for them, I wrote it for me,” said Rosenthol.

But after she spent an evening with another published author she decided it was time to dust of her writings and try to share them with the world.

She sent her manuscript to several publishers and within two weeks she got good news via email — she was going to be get published. On Dec. 10, Tate Publishers released published copies of the book “Terminal: Handling the Reality of Love and Loss” to bookstores and the company’s website. It is Rosenthol’s first published work as an author.

“I think the biggest takeaway from all of this is that I want people to know that every emotion their feeling after a loss is normal,” she said. “It’s OK to be totally lost.”

There are many support groups for children and for older adults, but Rosenthol said she found few for people in their 20s. This book, she hopes, will let someone know that someone out there is going through the same problems and is willing to listen to them.

Editor’s note: Mary Rosenhol is a freelance reporter for Potomac Local News covering Manassas and Manassas Park.

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