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A Beautiful, painful and ultimately peaceful journey through loss and grief

Haydee, J. Amazon Review

I enjoyed reading this book, in fact, I could not put it down. It spoke to me at many levels. As a widow, as a psychologist, as a woman who values connectedness with loved ones. It is a courageous, honest and helpful book about loss, grief and mourning. While other authors have increasingly questioned a stereotyped process that makes grieving a stagewise progression from A to Z that results in eventual resolution, few books herald, illustrate and give permission for the fact that each person grieves in their own idiosyncratic way.

The author is a psychologist who faces her deep, almost unbearable pain at the death of her husband by searching for the places that she shared with him from their initial encounter in Buenos Aires, Argentina until the end in the U.S. This return of memory to a meaningful familiarity is made deeper by her decision to seek help. An unusual aspect of this book is that overwrought with grief, the author decides to become a patient in treatment with a psychoanalyst who can help her see what she does not see in her grief, what may be behind the barrage of experiences and emotions she is having. Mental health professionals generally do not disclose their own treatment and yet, of course, many are patients too, so this is another interesting aspect of this book. During these therapy sessions, we witness a transformation. We see the author moving from a “we” towards an “I” without ever losing the “we” that solidified her marriage over many years. Rather than losing that sense of “we-ness”, she begins to wrap life around herself alone, using her small daily routines, like her breakfast, or sitting at a restaurant alone or buying the flowers her husband used to adorn the house with. Much of what she does honors the memory of her husband and the love he gave to her. Yet, one also senses that these same acts reveal that she is beginning to create a space where she can provide for herself emotionally. This book offers a beautifully written and touching journey of reliving the trauma of being an attendant to a difficult death, re- inventing oneself and emerging able to rekindle life’s sparkle. This short, easy to read and powerful testimony will be a gem for a lay and a professional audience on the topic of healing and resilience after a profound loss.