Today's Reading

(The copy in this email is used by permission, from an uncorrected advanced proof. In quoting from this book for reviews or any other purpose, it is essential that the final printed book be referred to, since the author may make changes on these proofs before the book goes to press. This book will be available in bookstores February 2023.)

ONE
OUR STORIES

Some kinds of sea stars can regenerate an entire body from a lost arm, this because they're able to house most of their vital organs in their arms. I want to believe that something whole and new can come from a broken thing.

— Sheryl St. Germain, author of 50 Miles

It would be near impossible to write a book about long-term grief without having experience of it. We offer our stories to let you know that we are on the journey with you, learning, growing, and stretching as we go.

PAM'S STORY

My personal story of grief begins with my father's and grandmother's deaths, followed by other significant family members, including my mother, and later on my sister and my nephew. But the one that triggered a lingering and painful grief recovery was the sudden death of my son's father, and my daughter Aimee's stepfather, almost thirty years ago.

Have I "moved on" from George's death? In many ways I have. I married again in 1984 to my husband, Steve. I continued my education; was ordained an interfaith minister; published a newsletter; helped to create valuable spiritual and psychological programs for Wainwright House, an alternative educational institute in Rye, New York; lectured nationwide; appeared on TV and radio; dabbled more in theater; became the coauthor of I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye and two other books; was awarded a PhD; and opened a successful private psychotherapy practice. On paper, as they say, it looked like I had moved on. But had I?

Taking action and resuming life as I did meant putting one foot in front of the other—much of the taking action part was inspired by the loss of George. I marched through each day using busyness to keep from looking too deeply into the wounded eyes of my young son, mindful of how much my daughter was also struggling. Work and dedication to what I loved helped me. I gave what support I could to the children—some days. And with all that, the grief continued, a sharp thread weaving its way into the fabric of my life for years.

One of the most difficult things is not having Ian's father sitting beside me, watching our son become a musical theater actor and director much like his father. The experience of seeing him on stage continues to be a combination of pride and longing. If only George was here to see how successful his son is and bask in Ian's achievements with me. The list of if-onlys is a long one and continues to this day. If only he had seen Ian graduate, marry the woman he loves, become a father for the first time, grow into a man his father would be proud of. How his stepdaughter, Aimee, grew into a strong woman and brought a child into her life—each if only creating another experience of grief.

Am I still triggered by life events I can only wish we shared? Yes. Am I different than you? Yes and no. Am I profoundly sad from time to time? Yes and no. Have I created a life with a wonderful new man who shares in some of my son's and daughter's life events? Yes. Do I still see the sadness in my son's eyes and how much he looks like his father? Of course. Would Aimee have had a different life with George in it? Yes, but that's her story to tell.

Creating a future after profound loss has different definitions for each of us. As I look back, I've realized that loss has been a catalyst for creating meaning in my life. It's meant putting feet to the ground and making meaning wherever I can. Perhaps my story and the excerpts from the stories you'll read about in this book will inspire you to author your own definition of grief recovery within a context that works for you as you discover as I did...what can I do now?


BRADIE'S STORY

The first time I experienced grief of my own and consciously witnessed it in others was when I was nine years old and my paternal grandfather died. Since then, I've lost my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandmother, my stepmother's father, and a dear friend. None of these were easy losses to bear, but it was the loss of my mother that knocked me down for a long time, and in many ways, I am still recovering.

On Easter in 2017, I found out my mom was dead. The medical examiner said she'd been dead for several days by the time she was found, but without an autopsy the exact time is anyone's guess.
...

Join the Library's Online Book Clubs and start receiving chapters from popular books in your daily email. Every day, Monday through Friday, we'll send you a portion of a book that takes only five minutes to read. Each Monday we begin a new book and by Friday you will have the chance to read 2 or 3 chapters, enough to know if it's a book you want to finish. You can read a wide variety of books including fiction, nonfiction, romance, business, teen and mystery books. Just give us your email address and five minutes a day, and we'll give you an exciting world of reading.

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Today's Reading

(The copy in this email is used by permission, from an uncorrected advanced proof. In quoting from this book for reviews or any other purpose, it is essential that the final printed book be referred to, since the author may make changes on these proofs before the book goes to press. This book will be available in bookstores February 2023.)

ONE
OUR STORIES

Some kinds of sea stars can regenerate an entire body from a lost arm, this because they're able to house most of their vital organs in their arms. I want to believe that something whole and new can come from a broken thing.

— Sheryl St. Germain, author of 50 Miles

It would be near impossible to write a book about long-term grief without having experience of it. We offer our stories to let you know that we are on the journey with you, learning, growing, and stretching as we go.

PAM'S STORY

My personal story of grief begins with my father's and grandmother's deaths, followed by other significant family members, including my mother, and later on my sister and my nephew. But the one that triggered a lingering and painful grief recovery was the sudden death of my son's father, and my daughter Aimee's stepfather, almost thirty years ago.

Have I "moved on" from George's death? In many ways I have. I married again in 1984 to my husband, Steve. I continued my education; was ordained an interfaith minister; published a newsletter; helped to create valuable spiritual and psychological programs for Wainwright House, an alternative educational institute in Rye, New York; lectured nationwide; appeared on TV and radio; dabbled more in theater; became the coauthor of I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye and two other books; was awarded a PhD; and opened a successful private psychotherapy practice. On paper, as they say, it looked like I had moved on. But had I?

Taking action and resuming life as I did meant putting one foot in front of the other—much of the taking action part was inspired by the loss of George. I marched through each day using busyness to keep from looking too deeply into the wounded eyes of my young son, mindful of how much my daughter was also struggling. Work and dedication to what I loved helped me. I gave what support I could to the children—some days. And with all that, the grief continued, a sharp thread weaving its way into the fabric of my life for years.

One of the most difficult things is not having Ian's father sitting beside me, watching our son become a musical theater actor and director much like his father. The experience of seeing him on stage continues to be a combination of pride and longing. If only George was here to see how successful his son is and bask in Ian's achievements with me. The list of if-onlys is a long one and continues to this day. If only he had seen Ian graduate, marry the woman he loves, become a father for the first time, grow into a man his father would be proud of. How his stepdaughter, Aimee, grew into a strong woman and brought a child into her life—each if only creating another experience of grief.

Am I still triggered by life events I can only wish we shared? Yes. Am I different than you? Yes and no. Am I profoundly sad from time to time? Yes and no. Have I created a life with a wonderful new man who shares in some of my son's and daughter's life events? Yes. Do I still see the sadness in my son's eyes and how much he looks like his father? Of course. Would Aimee have had a different life with George in it? Yes, but that's her story to tell.

Creating a future after profound loss has different definitions for each of us. As I look back, I've realized that loss has been a catalyst for creating meaning in my life. It's meant putting feet to the ground and making meaning wherever I can. Perhaps my story and the excerpts from the stories you'll read about in this book will inspire you to author your own definition of grief recovery within a context that works for you as you discover as I did...what can I do now?


BRADIE'S STORY

The first time I experienced grief of my own and consciously witnessed it in others was when I was nine years old and my paternal grandfather died. Since then, I've lost my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandmother, my stepmother's father, and a dear friend. None of these were easy losses to bear, but it was the loss of my mother that knocked me down for a long time, and in many ways, I am still recovering.

On Easter in 2017, I found out my mom was dead. The medical examiner said she'd been dead for several days by the time she was found, but without an autopsy the exact time is anyone's guess.
...

Join the Library's Online Book Clubs and start receiving chapters from popular books in your daily email. Every day, Monday through Friday, we'll send you a portion of a book that takes only five minutes to read. Each Monday we begin a new book and by Friday you will have the chance to read 2 or 3 chapters, enough to know if it's a book you want to finish. You can read a wide variety of books including fiction, nonfiction, romance, business, teen and mystery books. Just give us your email address and five minutes a day, and we'll give you an exciting world of reading.

What our readers think...