BOOK REVIEW: The Year of Magical Thinking

The theme that emerges from these pages is “control.” Control, as in to make the tragic events of the sudden death of a spouse of forty years to “unhappen.” This, of course, is what we all face, waking up that first day as a widow or widower. It’s the shock, the denial, the grief, even the self-pity that we all experience in those first days of mourning.

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INTERVIEW with Bonnie Crammond

When Bonnie lost husband Neil to cancer last October, there was hardly any time to grieve.

“Unfortunately, I was not given the luxury to grieve my husband after he died,” Bonnie says, “because my son Adam was so ill with leukemia in the hospital in Atlanta. As soon as my husband passed away, I went to Atlanta to be with my son.  Then Adam died six weeks later.  So, I was missing my husband but I was fraught with worry about Adam. I was nauseated and fatigued.”

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INTERVIEW with Kent Hooper

Even as the pain of her absence remains palpable after six years, Kent Hooper entertains no illusions about life and death. “Aileen is dead. I’m not going to see her again.” That hard fact does not impact his attitude about “getting back on the horse,” as it were. “I had the one great relationship in my life. There’s probably no number two out there. In many ways, I still feel like I’m married and I’m OK with that.”

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BOOK REVIEW: A Grace Disguised

In 1991, the car author Jerry Sittser was driving on a dark stretch of road with his wife, mother and four children was hit headon by a drunk driver. Sittser’s wife of twenty years, his mother and four-year-old daughter were killed. That night for Sittser became “The End and The Beginning,” as Sittser entitled the first chapter of A Grace Disguised, in which he recounted the accident.

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BOOK REVIEW: A Grief Observed by C.S.Lewis

A reconversion to traditional Christianity as an adult, it comes as no surprise that C.S. Lewis’s otherwise insightful essay on grieving would be anchored, if not weighed down, in a religious context. Setting theology aside for those of us who’d prefer it that way in considering grief, Lewis scours his inner state of being following the death of his wife with the thoroughness of a surgeon cutting out a cancer. What he’s produced is a seventy-six page road map for negotiating oneself up from the depths of loss and grief.

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