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Entries tagged with “death”.


stars-4-0._V192240704_

 

I really liked this book—for the story it wove, but I must confess that I loved it almost as much because it was written in a setting that I know and could relate too. I’ve been in the Kamloops Airport many times, I’ve been to Louis Creek and Clearwater in the beautiful Thompson River Valley.  I have never heard of Destiny Falls (I believe is a fictional place because I searched online and didn’t find such a place in the area where the book is written) but it was typical of a small interior logging town, where everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

Jess Morgan is beleaguered by painful memories that she hasn’t dealt with. One of them centers on the relationship that she and her mother do not have—and, as we learn while the story unfolds, they never did have because her father was the type of individual that he was.

Jess had resented her step father, who was the man that had quickly stepped up to support her mother after Jess’s father’s death. Jess and he had never made peace with each other, but when he died, Jess felt obligated to come home for a few days to see her mom. Then she would head back to her life in Toronto.

But in real life (and fiction) things are often not what they appear to be.  She found her mother desolate, floundering in the pain of her loss. This shocked Jess, but it further angered her because she felt her mother had never grieved for her father in the same way. Yet her heart reached out to the woman she had never understood.  Their struggle was a major part of this story.

And then there was Adam Wright, the handsome hero. As an adolescent, Jesse had worn her heart on her sleeve for him, but he hadn’t paid any attention to her. She was far too young then, and now she is far too jaded and defensive.

Adam’s interest peaks immediately, and he pursues her, but she does everything she can to push him away. When she heads back to her job in Toronto he believes he has lost her because he pushed her too hard.

I liked the way the plot developed and how it came to conclusion.  This is a light read, but it actually does deal with circumstances that can happen in real life.  My husband was a logger, and I know men who work in the same profession Adam does. The descriptions are true to life and all the characters were well developed and relateable.

Don’t miss a great read set in beautiful British Columbia, Canada by an author who lives in the same province!

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here.

 

five-stars

 

 

There were so many truths in this book about a sensitive subject that most of our North American society does not seem to know how to deal with.

It is a fact of life that each one of us will experience the loss of a loved one, and while The Widow or Widower Next Door deals openly and honestly with the experiences of losing a spouse, which as one of the comments expressed as “a loss like no other,” many of the same examples apply to people who lose a child, a parent, a grandparent or a dear friend.

The author says “our view of it (death) is so sanitized and sterile now. We don’t like to think about it much.

“In the more agarian societies of old, we witnessed birth and death of farm animals and house animals. There was a sense of normalcy about death, even though we didn’t like it…..It’s as though if we don’t think about it, we’ll never have to deal with it. That’s all very nice, but no one has yet explained to me how to avoid death

She also wrote, “ generations ago, people died in their own beds. Viewings and services were conducted in the parlor, and neighbours, friends and family came to the home. Now the dying are in a hospital or in an institutional place, far removed physically and mentally. It’s not so personal because, Lord knows we don’t want it to be personal.”

I have long been struck by society’s denial of death, in that it makes most people want to look away from people who are experiencing it—or have experienced it. People do not know what to say or how to act.

I have never forgotten what happened when our son was killed in an automobile accident thirty years ago. He had been working away from home, and all his friends lived where he worked, so we elected to have the funeral there—it was also in a community where my husband’s family members lived. My husband’s family were very supportive and comforting, but a couple of weeks later we had occasion to go to a gathering when my favorite uncle and aunt and their family lived. It was totally bizarre—Not one person mentioned our son’s death or our loss. It was as if nothing so tragic had happened, yet they all knew. I truly believe that they didn’t know how to say anything, but it shocked me. In our community, only one neighbour phoned to express condolences and the ladies from the Womens Institute sent a card signed by all the members, which was nice.

We live in a small community, and just recently we had a most compassionate and loving view of what can and should happen when a family and community member is passing. This man had fought a valiant battle with cancer, and his wife had been there with him every step of the way—loving him, caring for him, supporting him. We visited with them when he was in the hospital, and it was incredible to see his attitude, her attitude and the support they gave each other. They laughed and joked with us, and shared memories from the past. Shortly after that he came home to live out the last two weeks of his life. The house had a constant flow of friends, neighbours and family who came to be with him and support his wife. He died at home with her and one of their sons. He had helped plan his celebration of life, which was held at a next door neighbour’s ranch. It was a community event and a thing of beauty. To me it was a reminder of what we miss when we fail to honor and support the dying and their families.

But as the 25 people in this book each expressed, after the funeral is over and everyone leaves, there are so many things to deal with, and each individual’s way of dealing with grief and the everyday existence after the loss of a spouse (or a close family member or friend) is a personal process.

The author wrote “The Widow or Widower Next Door” is a collection of stories that reveal the unexpected reactions that occur. We prepare for school by attending Pre-K. We prepare to get our Driver’s License by taking driving lessons. We got to pre-marital counseling before we wed. Nothing, but nothing prepares us for the loss of a spouse. We hope this book will get people thinking and preparing, and we hope that it will help them learn how to better help a friend or a neighbor with such a loss.”

Those words are so true, and this book is a great resource for ALL people, but especially those who are experiencing the loss of a spouse. Highly recommended read!

This book is availabe on  Amazon.com

five-stars

 

The diagnosis of CANCER is a shocking blow for anyone, at any age.  Ideally, children outlive their parents. No matter how old the child or the parent is, the grief of losing the being that you have loved and nurtured is shattering.  To lose a seven year old, to watch him fight with everything he had, to see him suffer so much and eventually succumb to the ravages of the disease would be numbingly devastating. Any time Cancer rears its ugly head, everyone close is affected by it. Prolonged suffering from the disease is a test of courage, spirit, love and friendships, and it is not borne well by the faint of heart.

Christopher was a precocious child from the very beginning—strong willed, determined, at times a handful—but those were the things that gave him the fortitude to fight as long as he did—until there were simply no more options.  Margaret and Michael faced the challenge with strength that many of us could not imagine having.

There were so many things about this family that I admired.  Margret and Christopher became so close in spirit, it was humbling to me. I loved her for the way she gently guided Christopher, the great care she took to always put Christopher’s desires and emotional needs before her own, how she carefully helped him to accept and understand what was happening.  She drew on her faith, but she was incredibly strong within herself.

Michael was there for Christopher too, but he also had responsibilities in the outside world. He had be there for  Ian and Devon, and he had to continue to work: all the while he was dealing with his own emotional pain, wanting to deny what was happening, wanting and needing to be at the hospital for his son and his wife, yet knowing he couldn’t do both things at once. He did the very best that he could.

I was taken by this book on two levels. First, the recording of Christopher’s illness, the way this courageous family dealt with it, gripped my heart.

Secondly, I was captivated by Michaels writing skills.  His descriptive process of everyday things, aside from the tragedy they were living through, had me stopping to reread and think how wonderfully he had done it. He created a masterpiece out of circumstances that had to be difficult to put on paper. He shared the journey with honesty, but he handled it in such a way that what could have been too painful to read was a thing of beauty.

I’m certain that creating this book was more than a legacy for Christopher. I believe it was cathartic for Michael, but Mr. Lynes has truly emerged as an author.  Great job!

You can purchase this book on Amazon

 

Hopeless by Colleen HooverNormally I would never bother writing a review for a book that already has 6900 review because it certainly doesn’t need any more recognition—but this was such a wonderful book I feel I have to tell others how much I LOVED it.

This is a book about two teenagers—17 and 18 years—who have experienced dark, tough issues…abuse, betrayal, death, suicide; all linked to their childhood.  It is a sad story of being a victim, a wonderful story of survival, and the incredible strength and love they had for each other, the support they gave each other and how they helped each other move forward.

Colleen Hoover did a masterful job of weaving in the many layers that brought Linden Sky Davis and Dean Holden together; past, present and future.

Dean Holden is the bad boy/good boy who grabs your heart and holds it.  Sky Davis has lived in a world alien to most young people her age. When Dean comes into her life, he awakens memories that terrify her and while he doesn’t fully understand at first, he is terrified too. Together they unravel the tradgedy that her memories reveal.

In spite of the horrific past, the love they share is strong and loyal.  Considering the ages of the characters, this book was probably considered a YA book, but it is so much more than that.  The subject matter is deep and any woman would welcome a man like Dean; a man who made incredible love without even having sex.  I was smitten.

Don’t miss reading this.  I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is. This book would make an incredible movie.

You can purchase this book on Amazon