Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review - When Every Day Matters, A Mother's Memoir on Love, Loss and Life

When Every Day Matters, A Mother’s Memoir on Love, Loss and Life by Mary Jane Hurley Brant, Simple Abundance Press, 2008

When Every Day Matters is a memoir by MJ Hurley Brant about her family’s struggle to overcome her daughter’s fatal brain cancer and the first year of living without Katie who succumbs to the cancer at age 28.  If the reader is a parent, it will be difficult to read the second half of this book with dry eyes because of the emotional honesty of Hurley Brant’s descriptions of her despair and deep sorrow at the death of her daughter.  However these passages also provide some excellent and universal coping tools for dealing with the death of a child from practical reminders to drink more water so that your body does not suffer dehydration on top of emotional devastation to creating memory gardens and altars to channeling sadness by helping others.  For Hurley Brant’s moving meditation on what matters most in life confronts the unthinkable with courage, compassion and candor.  Although this memoir is not military-specific Hurley Brant’s message is relevant to family and friends of service members killed in war: If we are alive we cannot escape loss. Loss is a part of real life.

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