Posted in book review, books, grief

Book Review: Disaster Falls

“I wrote in expiation, in homage, in remembrance. Perhaps someone will one day collect the scattered remains of this child’s life…

…I wrote so that Owen would know that I had tried to understand. I wrote so that Owen would not be alone. Alison thought it might be the other way around. Perhaps I wrote to feel less alone, she said…

…I wrote for Alison and Julian- to leave traces of Alison and Julian. But, as I did so, I also felt myself retreating from the world and the ones I loved. Writing and everyday life became distinct realms between which I circulated without fully existing in either one. The psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross urged parents who have lost a child to steer clear of Valium. She did not issue the same warning about writing.”

disaster falls

When Stephane Gerson’s 8-year-old son dies on a rafting trip in Utah, his distraught father begins writing. I know the feeling. I did the same after I lost my husband, and yes, I was running away from grief just as surely as another widow I knew ran away in an RV with her homeschooled children.

Writing tempers the hurt, but might it not also deaden nerve endings? Writing can prove less painful than life, but might this mediated existence not keep experience at a remove?”

Gerson asks this question in “Disaster Falls: A Family Story.” His wife ran. He wrote. His remaining son? Well, it would be years before they would hear what losing his sibling (and best friend) meant to him.

I am well aware that I read these kinds of books in hopes for some insight into what my daughter and son-in-law have experienced in losing their child, a loss I cannot fathom. I found it interesting that Stephane attended support groups while his wife Alison did not go back after one meeting. Alison was spiritual, feeling her son near. Stephane did not.

I’m glad Stephane Gerson took solace in writing. This memoir is powerful.

Read more about the author and his book HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for review.

 

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

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