Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ROOM FOR TWO - a very unusual love story

By Shirley Bahlmann
Review: (Readers, I'm sorry I couldn't upload the cover, but please see it at
“Room for Two” by Abel Keogh is an unusual love story. Keogh has put his heart on the page in detailing his experience in dealing with his first wife’s suicide when she was pregnant with their first child.
In sharing his honest emotions of hurt, loss, anger, and love, he speaks to the soul of anyone touched by tragic loss. Walking readers through the deep grieving process and an uncertain search for someone new to love who will fit in his heart, Keogh gives readers hope for recovery.
Through his story, Keogh weaves in advice that applies toward almost every heartfelt relationship. His insights to eternal forgiveness and love will leave a deep impression on any seeking soul’s heart.

Shirley: Abel, thank you for meeting me at this quiet café in Paris. I think sometimes that removing yourself from the setting where a difficult event took place can make it easier to talk about.
Abel: Thanks for taking the time to interview me, Shirley. It’s great to be back in Europe.
Shirley: If you lean just so, you can even see the Eiffel Tower pointing toward Heaven. Do you mind sharing with us which of your beliefs has had the most power to carry you through the difficult time you went through during the time portrayed in your book?
Abel: Knowing that I still could see my late wife and infant daughter again was of great comfort during that time and still is to some extent. So many people lose a loved one and think they’ll never see that person again and spend the rest of their lives mourning. It’s great to know that if we live right, we can be together again in the next life.
Shirley: One thing you mentioned in your book is the feeling that if you’d followed certain promptings, you may have headed off the suicide. Has this affected your response to promptings you receive now?
Abel: I try to live my life in such a way that I’ll be more open and receptive to the promptings. I’m still not perfect and occasionally fail to heed one but I do much better now than I did seven years ago.
Shirley: I know it’s not the same relationship as yours, but when my uncle killed himself, I was heartbroken because he didn’t know how much I loved him. If he had, he would never have done it. What advice do you have for people who feel guilty over the death of a loved one?
Abel: Learn from the experience, move on, and don’t make the same mistake again. In your example, Shirley, if you have people that don’t know how much you love them, find a way to let them know how much they mean to you. Do it today if at all possible.
Shirley: That’s a very good idea. Oh, here comes the garcon with fresh, warm croissants. Merci. Mmmm, so warm, so simple, yet satisfying. Like good relationships. Pass the butter, please. Do you have any words of advice for those who live with a depressed person?
Abel: Give them the love and support they need. Help them see the problem and make positive changes in their life. If necessary, encourage and help them seek professional help.
Shirley: What would you say to someone who is currently contemplating suicide?
Abel: Reach out to someone and get help. Suicide doesn’t solve anything.
Shirley: What made you decide to write this book? Here, let me pour you some grape juice. It’s fresh squeezed… or stomped, whatever the case may be.
Abel: There were two motivations to write the book. The first was a lack of any compelling memoir about losing a spouse. I read, or tried to read, a lot of books about people who went through similar experiences and found them to be completely worthless. The second was that a lot of people who were reading my old blog – most of whom had not lost a spouse -- told me I had a story that could help and inspire a lot of people.
Shirley: Thank you, Abel. Your story certainly inspired me. This world is such a beautiful place when you can see beyond the hurt. Your book reached a part of me still sore from my uncle’s death, and helped me feel better.
Pardonnez moi, it’s time to catch my plane. Thanks to you and your wife for your willingness to share your story.
Abel: Au revoir.

Room for Two
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort (August 2007)
ISBN-10: 1599550628
ISBN-13: 978-1599550626 Sales Rank: #208,955


Janet Kay Jensen said...

excellent review and interview. Thank you, Shirley and Abel.


Terri Ferran said...

Shirley & Abel - I loved this interview.

Abel - I read your book and found it was a compelling read. Thank you for your frankness and sharing this touching story with the world!