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How do you write simple words for a book much to simple for words? A book whose walk through grief is as profound and raw as raw can be. A book about life and grief and how life goes on all around and while traveling through grief there is no pause. No pause because life never actually stops, that is not until there is a death – literal or figurative – a time when grieving is a necessity.
Rare Bird’s truths are the truths of everyone. Every person who will ever pick up this book, read my blog, or simply go through life. The fact of the matter is that ones struggle through grief is never ending, just as life never ends.
The rawness of emotions, thoughts, prayers, and actions. The genuine love, anger, questions, compassion, humility, and grace are often never more raw than during a time of grief.
As I read Anna Whiston-Donaldson’s story of loss, pain, sorrow, and both a careful and slow rebuild or rather reorganization of her life and her family, I was often taken to the place of my grief in losing my nephew.
That was a tough place. As heart-wrenching and difficult as that experience in my own life, the pain can all feel fresh. The ache, the wonder, the sorrow is never too far from the surface. And the truth is, it never will be.
I finished the book, the story of a life, of a family, with tears in my eyes. Tears of deep compassion, understanding, and a sense of peace.
I may not have lost a child, but I have lost. I lost a precious nephew at only 8 months and 3 days old. He was healthy and vibrant, fun, strong, and beautiful. The last pictures of him alive I took. The weight of that I’ll always carry. The gratitude of that I’ll always have. The pain of his death will forever be a part of my life, a part of my family’s life.
I remember the grief. I remember the not knowing even how to feel, let alone what to feel. Although he wasn’t my child, he touched my life. I remember the days when I cried unexplicably, when I tried to understand, when I saw purpose in his short life. I remember the first anniversary and how that entire month was an off month for me and I didn’t understand. I remember the weeks when I lay in bed not thinking or knowing or doing, unable to have even the simplest of direction. I remember….
And though it was 6 years ago, I’ll always know. In the time since, I’ve gained great peace and my own understanding of his life and death on a spiritual level. In that time I’ve not forgotten. I’ll never forget and the grief, though more distant than before will always be there.
Rare Bird was so horrifying, yet comforting. The story of Jack, his life and his death all too real and raw, yet full of love and life, even as his story continues through the lives of his family and friends.
Whether you’ve a loss more recent or more distant. Whether you’ve not felt a less so profound or are in the midst of hard grief now. This book is a must read. You’ll gain strength to go on, you’ll feel comforted and understood, and you’ll leave so much different than when you arrived at the beginning of the story. In the end though, you’ll feel hope and you’ll leave with peace even if only until you encounter a reminder of your loss.
Anna and her family’s story is important. Her travels through grief are gentle and loving, with herself and others. So head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy today.
*Disclaimer: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, Convergent Books and Blogging For Books provided me with a free copy of this book for purposes of review. The opinions and thoughts about the book are all mine.