Monday, May 28, 2012

The Book

Some of you know that I've been trying to put the writing I did in the first couple of years after Josh's death into book format.

One of the stumbling blocks has been the difficulty of maintaining a sense of balance in life while delving into that material.  A solution finally occurred to me, one which only summer weather and daylight savings time could provide.  For the past week or so, I've made The Book the first hour's project on most days; then at 7:30 or so I head out for my walk and prayer time.  Thus I'm able to  complete the transition from the darkness of those first years into the realities of everyday life as I experience it today, and to get on with my life without becoming mired in the past.

This morning, a quiet and stiflingly hot Memorial Day, I switched my plans around a bit, knowing that I needed to get some outdoor garden work in as early as possible.  I ended up making a lot of progress with the writing and revising once I had returned to the Great Indoors, and even finished the current draft of the book proposal and sent it off to a couple of friends.

I'm not sure what to make of this Book Project.  My life would be a good deal simpler if I were to shelve it for good.  And it's certainly no la-de-da contribution to the memoir genre. 

But I recall how I nearly inhaled everything that came my way on suicide loss in the first months, how desperate I was for someone to put my anguish into words.  And I remember how much I longed to read that someone else was persisting in prayer despite the evident disappearance of God.  

My situation verged on the extreme, as it was in a seminary dorm that I would awaken in the morning to the certainty that God had vanished, but I am fairly certain these days that other bereaved parents sense the same breaking news, regardless of where they are waking up or what their days hold.

Perhaps The Book has some value.


  1. Truth is a gift - to the teller and the listener. Good for you, and for those who will read...well done, Robin!

  2. It will be to the benefit of many, my friend, that you continue on with this project. You have the potential to give a great gift to people who really need it.

  3. I am sure that it will have value, but I am also sure that this must be very hard to to. Prayers for you.

  4. Robin, God is in this as God has given you the desire and the strength and the courage to move forward with the book. Many will benefit. Be gentle with yourself.

  5. Robin, I believe the book can benefit not just families who have lost sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers to suicide, but everyone who goes through trauma. Your honesty is profound. And to get away from the sweetness and light of some forms of Christianity that puts everything as "God's will" and "He has a reason" will be wonderful. My prayers are with you.

  6. This effort will reap great rewards in the help it will provide those who are waking up to these realities. The gift of your experiences and knowledge is incredible. (And yes, it is awkward to use the word "gift" in this context but YOU, dear friend, have and are an amazing gift.)

  7. No doubt your book will have value - what you write here brings me here to read your thoughts - you will offer your experience to others walking the same path,and to others who walk the journey with them.

  8. I learned that grief and trauma, regardless of the nature and cause, have commonalities - I learned that as I read your reflections after your son died and as I simultaneously grieved the end of my call and its horrible ending and the ensuing 18 months of unemployment....your words will speak to many people who are suffering, and those who wish to understand grief and suffering more fully.

  9. Well, I agree with everyone. And yes, your book has value already. When it is available I feel sure it will touch the hearts of many, many people who have suffered and felt alone.

    There is nothing quite so meaningful and profound as the first ray of hope that perhaps I am not actually alone. I think that is what your words bring to many.

  10. The Book...many of us await it and pray for it to become pages.

    It is a gift, indeed. Put me down for three copies in hardbound for starters.