"Beyond Tears - Living after Losing a Child"
Written by Carol Barkin, Audrey Cohen, Lorenza Colletti, Barbara
Eisenberg, Barbara J. Goldstein, Madelaine Perri Kasden, Phyllis Levine,
Ariella Long and Rita Volpe, in collaboration with Ellen Mitchell
This book is written by nine mothers who lost a son or daughter, between
1987 and 1996 and met at Compassionate Friends meetings. It
is an excellent book to read for those who are a little "further down the
grief road" because there are so many feelings and situations that are
discussed that the seasoned grievers can totally relate to.
In some instances, reading this book could be compared to sitting in on
a sharing session and just listening, and feeling like you are right there
with these moms. Their children died at different ages and
from different causes. Some of the moms have surviving children,
one of the moms does not. In each chapter there is the story
of each son or daughter of these moms. The last chapter even
has comments from their husbands - a group we rarely hear from!
They discuss learning how to find the joy to live again, finding ways to
carry on their child's legacy, what worked and didn't in the healing process,
coping skills, holiday survival tips, how they, their families and their
marriages grew, changed and survived in spite of the greatest loss.
This is a book that I would pick up again and read when I can't go to a
meeting just to remind myself I'm not alone, there are others who've said
what I've said, and deal with the same issues.
My favorite paragraphs that seem to sum up who we are today as bereaved
parents, is the following:
"As time passes the pain dulls but we continue to define the place on
earth we now occupy as a shadow life... We call it "shadow grief".
We have been dumped here by some force far beyond our control and it means
we now experience every event, every set of circumstances, every morning,
noon, and night, every relationship, every nuance, every grain of sand
in a new way...engulfed in shadow.
But in a strange way, we cherish the shadow. It is cast by the
death of our child and it is all we have left of him or her and so we would
not wish it away if we could. It is now part of us, the person
we have become in the after. If we are to be the mothers of
children who died, we will live with the shadow, but we will find ways
to walk in it, and eventually be able to see the sun rise and set, to forget
ourselves enough to laugh out loud on occasion and to look positively on
the new life that has been given us. It will never be the old life,
but it will be livable."
What they refer to as "shadow life" I've often thought of as "living
a life laced with the edges of sorrow - it's always there".
When you read this book you, too, will be laughing, crying and shaking
your head with these nine moms who have learned what we are learning in
this, our new normal, carrying on, surviving and thriving with our child
within us and beside us every day.
by Meg Avery, TCF, Gwinnett Georgia Chapter
With each book purchased through our web site, we receive a small
commission from Amazon. A portion of the proceeds from Beyond
Tears - Living After Losing a Child" will be donated to The Compassionate
Friends Atlanta Online.
Thank you for your support.