Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Reason

The Reason
Help and Hope for Those Who Grieve
By Sally Grablick

This book was not what I had expected. While I enjoy some self-help books, this doesn’t earn a spot on my list of favorites. For me, this book was a rollercoaster of joy and depression. I understand that grief sort of works in the same way, and given the topic of the book it was to be slightly expected. For me, the book lacked a sense of God’s presence. As I read, I kept asking “where is your faith?”
Her preface explains it best:
“at 19 years of age, my son Ryan committed suicide – in our home, in his room, with a rifle. That is all I'm going to say about that. This isn’t a story about how or why he took his life. It’s a story of how his spirit returned to save mine.”
She tells the story of her son sort of leaving her ‘signs’ that he is around and still with her, even though she can’t physically see him or hold him. For me, the story was just not exactly my style. First of all, she is very depressing and takes her son’s death VERY poorly. I mean, I can understand that suicide is difficult for any family to cope with and that there must be massive amounts of guilt that flutter around like the weight of the world.  To me, suicide is also a tragic event that CAN’T be left to the survivors. Families and friends who have been involved in a suicide simply CANNOT allow themselves to feel that guilt, or it will consume you. Everyone does what they can with what they know at the time, and a decision to take one’s life isn’t something that loved ones ‘expect’ or ‘plan for’… it is always shocking and devastating and more so – it is always a decision that person makes.
Besides her depression that clearly emanates throughout the story (in all fairness, it does get better as the book progresses), God is hardly mentioned. She looks to psychics and the ‘otherworld’ for guidance and a link to her son. Now, I’m sorry – to each his own – but I just cannot comprehend this. Where is God in this method? Who is really showing you these signs? I believe in guardian angels and signs of hope and guidance but for me, she took this a few steps too far. I’m not going to knock her ‘signs’, because I think that should be something left to the person receiving them (we all take things to mean different things, and I would never discredit someone’s special gift). I just think she focused on the ‘signs’ and ‘spirit world’ more than the bigger picture –which is God, his unwavering love and ultimate promise to take care of those who accept him. While death is NEVER easy… I believe if she had a better relationship with God or even started a relationship with him after Ryan died; she would have found the loss much easier to cope with.
Having said that, there were several things I did appreciate about her story. I enjoyed how brave she was to see ‘signs’ and call them for what she believed they were. I commend her for sharing her ‘gifts’ with her family, in hopes it would help them heal. I appreciated her willingness to be open to something much bigger than her and the world we live in and her eagerness to push forward and come to peace with the heartbreaking loss of her son. Sally never gave up, she could have easily laid in bed and sat in (what she calls) the ‘black hole’ that is grief for much longer than she did. When she would sink back down she always made a point to crawl back out, which is important when dealing with losing a loved one, or anyone you care about.

I would not read this book again, and if I can be honest… I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone grieving. I might recommend this to the type of person who “is not religious, and is dealing/ grieving over a suicide” but that would be the small niche of readers I would refer this book to. She does provide a ‘toolbox’ which I think is nice to provide grieving readers. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with a loss, and I think inspirational books are definitely a good tool to utilize while attempting to “come out of the haze”. While it wasn’t my favorite, I am glad Sally shared her story… because if it helps even one person on their road to recovery, it was worth it.

Favorite quotes:
“It is a fact of quantum physics that energy cannot be created, nor can it be destroyed. It can only be converted from one state to another. So, when our loved ones die, they simply shed their physical bodies, their energy remains unchanged…. The difference is that there is no mass in which they are contained. When you can wrap your mind around that, you’ll find it easier to accept and believe in the little miracles we experience each and every day.”

“…set aside time each day specifically to remember them.”


21SaraLoves said...

wow i really like the quotes. good review.

Ianstein said...

Love Love Love the qoute!!

There was an error in this gadget