Author(s): Sean Davidson
Respected and popular, Pat Davison practised as Dr Patricia Fergusson, GP and psychiatrist.
Now she is nearly 85, with secondary cancers. She can no longer paint - her passion - or even read. Formidably intelligent, she makes up her mind. This is no longer living. She wants to die.
Her son Sean's day by day account of what happens when he flies back to be with her is riveting. Sometimes the candour is almost excruciating but the story is shot through with humour and wry self-awareness, with the deep bond of tenderness between mother and son never faltering. When family and friends gather, and old hurts and slights and awkwardnesses emerge, everyone is tested.
Before We Say Goodbye speaks directly to countless families. It challenges us in our deepest selves. It is a cautionary tale, and many will call it a love story. First published June 2009.
Sean Davison was born in Auckland and spent most of his childhood on the West Coast, gaining a doctorate in microbiology at the University of Otago . He is Professor of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town . There he heads the Forensic DNA Laboratory which specialises in DNA identifications in resolving human rights cases in South Africa . Next year his laboratory will make its facilities available to the African continent.