Dancing in Heaven – A sister’s memoir

Cover-208is available at:

Amazon.com (Print and Kindle)
My sister Annie never outgrew the needs of an infant. She didn’t walk or talk. Our parents fed her, changed her clothes, and lifted her from her bed to her wheelchair and back  for her entire life. Although the doctors who initially diagnosed her predicted she’d have a life expectancy of eight years, Annie lived to be fifty-one years old.

Dancing in Heaven is an inspirational story about Annie s life, death, and her significance in the lives of those of us who loved her and others who were touched by her. This memoir provides a window into my family’ s life with a severely disabled member. But more importantly, Dancing in Heaven is a testament to the basic intrinsic value of human life.


Watching in the night
A responsive and captive audience
An instinct to die


“Even deprived of our most basic functions, a life can still lighten and inspire. “Dancing in Heaven” is a memoir from Christine M. Grote as she recounts the life of her disabled sister Annie, as she hopes to shine light on what even a disabled soul in one’s life can do for the cohesion of family and love. “Dancing in Heaven” is a must for memoir collections focusing on disability and families of the disabled.” The Midwest Book Review, Able Greenspan reviewer

“As I turned the last page, tears were streaming down my face. Happy that sweet little Annie was finally able to dance in heaven, no longer hampered by the prison that her body had been for her sparkling and merry mind. Sad that her radiant smile was now only a memory.” Marion Driessen, Figments of a Dutchess – Read complete review here.

“Not only is this self published, non-fiction book polished and perfect…it’s a gripping read.Cynthia Robertson. -Read complete review here.

“To quote one of my favorite movies (You’ve Got Mail) “Read it with a box of tissues.” Read it with laughing music. Read with a smile on your face and a dance in your heart. Just be sure you read it.” Lisa Kramer.

You will be touched by this inspirational story about Annie. . .” Kaity-Jane Culbertson. – Read complete review.

“Christine’s memoir is a lovely tribute to the life of this dear family member. . .” dogear6, blogger. – Read complete review here.

Dancing In Heaven: a sister’s memoir is touching and inspirational. Annie’s story is one that everyone should read. The way she affected her famiy and those around her was astounding.” Stephanie Cowart from Your Need to Read.  –Read complete review here.

“Dancing in Heaven — a sister’s memoir is a tender story of growing up with a severely handicapped member of the family.” It is a “beautiful memoir.  It is sweet, gentle, and encouraging.” Sally from Hot Dogs and Marmalade.  –Read complete post here.

“The writing is beautiful and while there were times I felt my eyes well up with tears, there were many parts that made me smile. I really did enjoy this intimate look into such a wonderful family.” Jennifer from Mommy’s Reading Too – Read complete review here.

“This is very courageous, brave writing . . .” Carolyn Walker, published memoirist, and Pushcart Prize nominee.

“Dancing in Heaven captures the inescapable pain, unpredictable joy, and resilient decision-making . . . ” Jeffrey Hillard, editor & publisher

“Annie and her family made a significant impression on me . . .” Jim McCormick, Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services.

“Dancing in Heaven captures “the combination of constant desperate waiting, dread, confusion and exhaustion you experience when someone you love is dying. . .”  Nancy Henry Chadwick, writer.  


  • Many Books, Author of the Day: “Why did you pick this title, Dancing in Heaven?
    CMG – Sometimes I regret it when I see how often the phrase is used in obituaries. People like to write that their loved one is dancing in heaven because they are happy now. My title carries a lot more meaning for me, with a different twist. . .” ManyBooks
  • Reviews by Jane: ” RBJ – What inspired you to write a memoir about your sister?
    CMG – I always knew I would write about my sister Annie. I believed her story had a lot to offer other people in many different ways. . .” Reviews by Jane.
  • Ink Drop Interviews: “IDI – Christine, I know that ‘Dancing in Heaven’ is about the life and death of your severely disabled sister. Why did you write it?
    CMG Having a profoundly disabled sister had a profound effect on me. . .” Ink Drop Interviews by Kathy Reinhart.
  • William Lambers interview: “Christine talks about Dancing in Heaven and also the process of publishing this inspirational memoir.” An interview by William Lambers.

Guest posts:

Why we write our stories at Wrote by Rote
How memoir writing helped me to grieve my loss at Memoir Writer’s Journey

Contact me:

I would love to hear from you. If you have read Dancing in Heaven and would like to leave a comment, or if you have any questions, please feel free to post them below and I will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in Dancing in Heaven and my sister Annie’s story. ~Christine M. Grote

2 thoughts on “Dancing in Heaven – A sister’s memoir

  1. terrypetersen

    Ordinarily I read a book that fills fewer than 200 pages in a few days. “Dancing in Heaven” filled my soul, in important nooks and crannies, and I couldn’t rush through the text. I let the depth of Annie’s dark brown eyes settle into me until I know she must have appeared in my dreams–because I thought about her in the morning. There may never be complete answers to why anything happens. Sometimes the layers appear years after–even as the tears continue to flow.


Questions and comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s