I actually get this question quite frequently when people read over my memoir, Onward Rising. Writing a book is no different from an alcoholic or member of Alanon giving a lead before a group of people. The only difference is my story is actually written down so it is the same every time you read it.
I had the same misconception years ago. I thought that in order to share my story and experiences with a large audience that everyone that I wrote about would have to be deceased, but I discovered that was just an excuse of my own to not be honest with what happened in my life and what made me the person I am today. The truth will set you free and for me writing allowed me to collectively document each event.
I am certainly grateful for the unusual catalyst that I had with my supposed biological father as this gave me the drive to sit down and write the book. I certainly want to encourage everyone to write their own story. You can share it with the world or you can just write it for yourself. When you write a memoir it is very different from the experience of writing a journal. There is perhaps an amazing development that occurs with each chapter as we are forced to look at where we came from and the progress that we have made. For some this process will allow you to understand more of who you are and the other relationships you surround yourself with.
The answers are always there in front of us, sometimes we just don’t see them until they are displayed in sequence taking us from Point A to Point B.