his death in a bike race in Chicago in 2008, Matthew
Manger-Lynch was a passionate professional chef and avid
Manger had just finished a meditation session at a yoga retreat in
Houston when she picked up her phone and heard the news that would
plunge her into what she later called "a dark tunnel of
It was Feb. 24,
2008. Mangerís adored son, Matthew Manger-Lynch, 29, had been riding
in a bike race in Chicago when he was struck and killed by an oncoming
Manger says she
does not remember much about the trip back home to Milwaukee. Her son
Luke and Lukeís wife, Kathy, accompanied her on the flight home, and
her husband, Bill Lynch, was waiting at the airport, all of them
stunned by shock and disbelief.
published book, "Riding Through Grief," chronicles the
journey of Manger-Lynchís family as they make their way through the
aftermath of his death. Gently and with extraordinary grace, Manger
documents the emotions of a mother trying to make sense of it all.
an artist, art educator and author, had received acclaim for her
earlier books ó "Mary Nohl: Inside and Out, a Biography of the
Artist," and a young personís version, "Mary Nohl: A
Lifetime in Art" ó she says she did not set out to write about
this deeply personal experience.
kind of started writing," she recalls. "I might be riding my
bike somewhere and Iíd put notes on my cell phone."
Judy Bridges encouraged her to organize those stories into a book that
might be helpful for others who are grieving or trying to cope with a
devastating loss. Kurt Chandler, who had edited the Mary Nohl books,
helped to edit "Riding Through Grief," Manger says.
very difficult to write, but I think it was really very healing for me
to do it, too, just to review Mattís life and our time
together," Manger says. "Iíd find myself laughing, it was
just a good experience to recollect the past and kind of savor the
stories, a lot of which were not in the book. It helped me to remember
things that Iíd long ago forgotten."
a passionate professional chef and avid cyclist, and lived full speed
ahead in what his mother describes as "bursts."
In the book,
Manger writes: "When Matt entered a room, it was with a burst of
sunshiny energy. He filled any space with it. I do not think he was
aware of the effect of his presence. Nor would he know the effect of
personality permeates the book, in a middle-school essay, in one of
the few recipes heíd written down, and in the stories told by his
family and many good friends. Some of their memories of him were
written shortly after his death, others specifically for the book.
really lucky to have these things that they wrote," Manger says.
Through Grief" is not a "how-to" book, she notes.
any expert on grief. Iíve experienced it, but thatís all. Iíve
absorbed the grief and now Iím beyond merely functioning,"
Manger says. "I donít think grieving really stops. You learn
how to live with it Ö I really hope the book can bring solace or
peace to others who are grieving."
Meet Visuals at Library
new East Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library opens this fall,
the work of two local artists, Santiago Cucullu and kathryn e.
martin, will greet book lovers. The library commissioned the
pair to create public art installations for the new wing,
encouraging the artists to incorporate aspects of the local
neighborhood and community into their designs.
by the diversity and shared experience of library patrons,
Cuculluís mural series will unite imagery from
architectural elements of existing libraries throughout the
city. Martinís piece focuses on the areaís topography
and its inherent beauty. Using reclaimed wood from trees
removed by the new branchís construction, she will create
a topographic map of Milwaukeeís East Side, carving
geographical contours and lines into the wood.
two artists demonstrate unique styles, the ability to engage the
community in their design and previous experience creating
public art," says Paula Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library
director. "For the library, public art is an important part
of creating an engaging community space."
artists have exhibited extensively and are actively involved in
the local art community. Cucullu is an adjunct faculty member at
the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and
martin lectures at UW-Milwaukee.
www.mpl.org/eastlibrary to view the artistsí