For the last several years, one of my favorite bands has been Cloud Cult. Their upbeat lyrics and peppy melodies belie a darker past, one characterized by the sudden death of the lead singer's very young son. Since that time, much of what Cloud Cult has sung about is this loss and what comes after. As I read Emily Rapp's shattering new memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World, I was reminded of Cloud Cult, and marveled again at the desire - bordering on compulsion - of so many artists to record this experience of grief and loss, not to capitalize on it but because they have no choice.
When Rapp's son Ronan began missing his developmental milestones shortly after his six-month birthday, Rapp and her husband took him to an ophthalmologist who confirmed their worst fears - Ronan had Tay-Sachs disease, a genetic enzyme deficiency with no known cure and the prognosis of rapid ...
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