About the Book

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Life with an Impossible Person by Joan D. HeimanThis book takes the reader through and beyond the death of a beloved husband, friend, lover, and fellow spiritual seeker. It follows the struggle to live through loss, to find a way spiritually without religion, a conscious stumbling toward meaning. It is unique because of the beautiful and unconventional person I’ve lost; universal in its chronicling of the pain and love wrapped into care-taking, grieving, and the reconfiguring of a life without him. It braves one woman’s ongoing endeavor to reinvent her life without losing touch with her love for this beloved partner. I hope it speaks to others who must do the same.

This person I built a life with over 37 years was and is still the most lovable, unpredictable, brilliant, and stubbornly impractical person I’ve ever known.Being with him changed me; being without him changes me yet again.

Its title, Life with an Impossible Person; A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation, reflects what makes it unique. This person I built a life with over 37 years was the most lovable, unpredictable, brilliant, and stubbornly impractical person I’ve ever known. Being with him changed me; being without him changes me yet again. The warmth of his laughter and humor combined with his childlike sense of wonder lit my capacity to taste more joy than I’d known possible. His spiritual longings woke a yearning in me I hadn’t known was there. The deeper communion he believed possible between two people moved me into an intimacy I’d never felt, and his unwavering search for Beauty, Truth, and a poetic vision rearranged my heart and soul. Living beside his non-conforming, non-materialistic view of life-in- the-world challenged my worldview.

Thirty-seven years of travel and upheaval were inspired by his conviction that there are “places on the planet” that are spiritually akin to each of us, that seeking one’s ideal place is necessary to creativity, belonging, and aesthetic accord. We spent years traveling and living abroad in search of our place.

Adopting a raw fruitarian diet, eating in harmony with biology and ethical and ecological responsibility often placed us outside the understanding of family and friends.  A holistic and humane approach to living lightly influenced our choices related to diet, lifestyle, and wellness.

His struggle with panic attacks and anxiety humbled both of us and taught me to live with more courage and humility than I’d imagined possible.

I was challenged and enlightened by Philip up to the end of his life —the final three months spent at a fasting retreat in Costa Rica. His rejection of conventional medicine offers encouragement to readers wanting to swim upstream in search of non-conventional healing. Deciding to stop extraordinary measures of care when he was unable to make that decision for himself was the most horrible choice I’ve ever made, one to which some readers will painfully relate.

My journey through grief and the struggle to imagine a future without him is something those who experience loss will recognize. I hope to hold out an empathetic hand to others living through the death of a loved one. I also long to share the life-changing, life-enhancing effect this uncommon human being had and continues to have on me. The book explores the longing to believe in a love that transcends time and the body. Even as pain and grief render us weak and weary, the book holds out the hope that life and love continue.

Read an excerpt from Life with an Impossible Person: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Breathtaking Ms. Heiman writes with such warmth and familiarity, it’s effortless to fall under her charmed spell. You find yourself galloping along on her soul journey of exploration, trials and treasure with and without her beloved Philip. The nuance in relating to the world around her and her lover is described exquisitely and leaves you … Continue reading Elizabeth, via Amazon.co.uk

Elizabeth, via Amazon.co.uk

Heiman’s wordcraft elevates her memoir to poetry. . . . with both deep tenderness and heartbreaking honesty. She raises valuable questions about the choices we all make along the hard road of loving another human being. Regina Sara Ryan is the author of “Women Challenge the Lie and Igniting the Inner Life.”

Regina Sara Ryan, author

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Vulnerable, Intimate and Honest Joan’s ability to share her life and love story with us, feels like a true confession right from her heart. The vulnerable and raw honestly that she writes with carried me along her and Phillip’s crazy life and their loving relationship. The non-traditional aspects of her life and love are evident … Continue reading David M. Herrera, via Amazon.com

David M. Herrera, via Amazon.com

You describe the deepest emotions & helped me smile at the struggles along the way as we say goodbye to Loved Ones. Couldn’t put it down!

Enja Borgmann

Insightful, endearing, personal…Brilliant. Heiman is an extraordinary storyteller whose wisdom and compassion are found between the lines. Pamela Sachs, M.S. is the author of “Wings of Love.”

Pamela Sachs, M.S., author