The Ultimate Love shares a journey through grief that teaches readers to value life. Why was this an important book to write ?
The sudden death of my 25 year old son after a 5 month battle with cancer, made me realise that life is short and in the blink of an eye, our entire world can change. Many of us go through life working and to busy to spend quality family time and by the time we realise this, it maybe to late. I want people to understand that there’s more to life than material things, cherish your loved ones because they can be taken at any time.
In this book you share your grief but you also help readers understand how to continue after a loss. What were some ideas you wanted to share with readers?
Each person’s grief is unique and we all mourn differently. There’s various stages of grief and each of us can go through different stages at different times. There’s no fast rule that you must be in the first stage of grief example denial. You can start with anger, bargaining or even acceptance. We must also remember that not everyone will go through all the stages. Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of life’s biggest challenge and the pain of grieve can disrupt your physical, emotional and spiritual being.
What do you hope the one thing readers take away from your book?
Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that is important to you. Everyone grieves differently, there is no time limit to grieve and each person goes through the phases in their own way. With time ,the sadness eases, you’ll be able to feel happiness and joy along with your grief.
Janet once had the fleeting thought of not having kids. But after Brian came along, she was glad she never paid any real attention to that thought. He was her little angel: smart, sweet, full of life, infectious joy, and gusto. As Brian grew into a fine young man, Janet’s love for him also soared. Life seemed good, untill things took a turn for the worse. Brian encountered significant turbulence on his journey, one that would affect the lives of everyone that cared about him.
Brian’s Journey is a real account of the life of an impressive young man, narrated by his mother, Janet Dubrasky. It’s both a heart-warming and heart-breaking chronicle of how Brian lived, loved, and died and how those closest to him came to terms with his death. It’s a book on unconditional love, the beauty of family and true friendship, and healing for the bereaved.
Dubrasky writes simply and from the heart. She bares herself before us, helping us understand her struggles and delights as she elevates her beloved Brian and stands by him even in his most trying times. She doesn’t spare us any detail as she tells Brian’s story, and that made the tale more immersive. I didn’t just hear about Brian. I got to watch him grow and flourish. It felt like I accompanied him on his sojourn, and as his life came to an abrupt end, my heart sank.
One of my major takeaways from the book is that grief is hard to deal with, and we can’t just wish it away. We must learn to live with it and continue our journey and, as at hard as it might be, accept that those who’ve passed have completed theirs. It’s easier said than done. But someone like Dubrasky, who has already done it, is encouraging us to take the same path.
Based on her experience, Dubrasky believes there’s indeed life after death. That death is, in reality, people being reborn, resting from their struggles having learned all they were supposed to. She says we are all energy, and energy never dies. It only changes form. In other words, the ones we’ve lost are not really gone. They’ve just been transformed. This is vital for leading a life of empathy and compassion. We all need peeks into other people’s worlds so we can deal with those around us with understanding. Brian’s Journey offers profound insights into the pain of losing a loved one. Therefore, it can help us deal with similar personal issues and better empathize with others when they go through the same.
Pages: 222 | ASIN: B08F7CPDMT
Tags: author, biography, book, book review, bookblogger, brians journey, ebook, goodreads, grief, inspirational, janet dubrasky, kindle, kobo, literature, loss, memoir, motivational, nonfiction, nook, read, reader, reading, self help, story, suicide, writer, writing
An emotional memoir by a mother who shares the harrowing experience of losing her son to suicide. Brian was her first baby boy: from the very beginning, he was a quick learner who readily made friends. As a teenager and young adult, he grew into a talented artist and musician, who also had a facility for languages, loved food and travel. He lived life. In this emotional memoir, Brian’s mother tries to understand the sudden mental illness that took over Brian’s life and led to his suicide. She describes the failures of the systems that could have helped him. And she shares her efforts to heal—a difficult path that other grieving families know all too well.
Nadeem was just 25 years old when he passed away after a short, but painful illness, however he lives on in the tireless efforts of his mother, Sherine Anniruth, to memorialize his life. The Ultimate Love is as much about Nadeem, the central figure that binds together the chapters of the book, as it is about his mother’s grief over his loss, in all its unimaginable dimensions. Anniruth’s grief comes in waves, some that reduce her to tears, others that almost obliterate her ability to continue with daily life. And her work serves as an open letter to anyone experiencing the same pain, wondering how they could possibly live on after their child has gone.
The Ultimate Love is a work of deep and startling honesty, but not one likely to fly off the shelves. Anniruth struggles to keep her emotions down long enough in order to analyze and discuss her grief, rather than to be caught up in the depths of it. Perhaps it’s not possible to capture such a deep sense of grief in words, let alone review a work that details a mother’s unending love for a lost child. As Anniruth herself says, “each person’s struggle is different”, and her experience of grief is hers alone. The Ultimate Love is less a novel and more of a guide to living through loss, authored by a loving, abundantly caring mother who asks how the world could dare to move on, when she’ll never be able to do the same. She tries to find positive affirmations and an overarching meaning for what happened to her son – a young man we sadly, barely come to know in the book, falling back on her faith for support.
What Anniruth has written is more a testament to the fragility of life, to its cruelties, and to our natural, built-in resilience to continuing on in the face of loss. As she carries the ghost of her son with her, she is herself transformed by the act of keeping him close to her heart. It’s not an easy read, for more reasons than one, but a book that’s bound to touch those who find themselves in the same position as Anniruth, and trying to cope with what feels like an insurmountable loss. Her parting gift to us as an author is to try and face it all, her grief, her hopes, her fears, and the small ways in which life does go on, while memory never fades.
Pages: 125 | ASIN: B0871MW1M9
Born into a Gypsy band, Solly’s early years are marked by tricks and misdeeds. However, he reaches a turning point and chooses to lead a better life. Now an adult, he’s bent on giving his wife and daughter a good life but tragedy strikes twice. With Solly all alone in a small town, he devotes himself to building a relationship with the youth and encouraging them to turn a new leaf. His service to his community ends in one final heroic act that comes at great cost. But this act coupled with all that Solly had taught the youth would go on to change the town of Bensons Corner forever.
Gordon Planedin’s Solomon Levi Mackeefer is a short story with a big impact. The language is simple and clear and the writing speeds you along a thought-provoking journey.
Set in North America, the book focuses on some of society’s most pressing issues. The central theme answers the question: “how do we make our world whole again?” Planedin suggests we look to the younger generation. Our only option is to help this group see the essence of life and hope that with a few exemplary adults inspiring them, they can gradually change the world.
The book’s relevant messages and the events Planedin used to deliver them kept me fairly engaged. For a short story, Solly’s character development was something that advanced quickly while remaining intricate and deep.
While I found the continuity a bit off in some areas, I don’t think this should affect your understanding of the plot. Solomon Levi Mackeefer is a small book you can get through in about thirty minutes, but the story will stay with you well after you have closed the book.
Pages: 60 | ASIN: B07GF6NK2H
She was a bubbly and jovial little girl one day and sickly the next. Brittany’s condition deteriorated along with her family’s spirit. When a loved one passes away, they leave with a part of us. You are left with a big hole in your heart that you have no use for. How then do you get past the loss? How do you feel the sun on your face again? How do you accept the loss and learn to live with it rather than let it derail your life? How do you finally find some peace despite the ache in your heart?
Brittany’s Rose is the story of a little girl’s death and her family’s journey through grief. It tells the story of their struggles with mourning. Mary Jane Clayton gives a candid account of what she and her family went through for the benefit of the reader. You can never truly prepare for such a loss. But with a book like Brittany’s Rose then you can hope for a better day. You can hope for a day when the grief will be more of a background ache than an earth-shattering life stagnating condition.
This is a quick read meant to help you get past the fog. To hold your hand through this turmoil. Because, really, there is no way to avoid it. The only way to get through it is to go through it. The author creates a sense of kinship with the reader by being honest and open. This book is written with the utmost empathy and is all heart. It is evocative and sad but comforting at the same time. It works whether your loved one passed recently or a decade ago. It is personal and uplifting and written in simple language. It is almost casual but still in a tone that lets you take in the message therein.
The simplicity of this book, the tone, the emotion, the personification of it and the honesty and transparency all make this book a great companion. Sometimes you have to let the healing happen naturally rather than forcing it. It is a natural process. You will also learn the importance of faith in the process.
Brittany’s Rose is a personal story that is always important and useful to someone. The one telling the story requires bravery and courage to tell their story especially one of this caliber so kudos to the author for letting us in. May all who have suffered losses be divinely guided through their grief to a space of peace and acceptance.
Pages: 206 | ASIN: B0792Y4LFF
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The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen is a memoir of your life growing up in a family that traveled often and the challenges you faced and lessons you learned. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I wrote this book for my mother- to help her heal after my dad’s death. We had spent almost 20 years dealing with his decline. Thus, it became all we could remember and all my children knew of their grandfather. I thought that if I could write the complete story, it would help all of us remember the good with the bad. Once I got into it, it helped me understand myself more fully, and set me up to live my current life which is wonderful.
This is a ‘daughters tale of family and football’. What were some ideals you wanted to capture in this book?
I want readers to feel the love and complexity of this family. We had/have big love for each other, and had a big love for football. I want readers to know that you can overcome the hang ups from your childhood. I want readers to see that race in the South was more complex than is typically discussed. I want people to know that sports can be a bridge. I want families that are dealing with the cognitive decline of a loved one to know that they can forgive themselves their impatience and frustration with the situation; we are all just doing the best we can with the situation as we understand it in the moment.
The book shows the dedication your father had towards his career and family. What is something that stands out to you to this day about your father?
My father was relentless- that was the key to his success. He was full of optimism and faith in things bigger than himself.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
First, that my father would not have made a different choice, but he did not make an informed one. I want parents to think carefully about letting their young children engage in any kind of contact sport. I want football in general, and the NFL in particular, to think more deliberately about additional reforms to football that will make it safer. I want the general public to understand the burden CTE places on a family. And I want families that have experienced CTE to draw some comfort from reading our story.
The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen tells the story of a football life from a daughter’s perspective. Chronicling a rise through the competitive ranks—from high school to college to professional coaching, and ultimately a Super Bowl championship—it also reveals the struggle to deal with the decline and death of the patriarch, Lamar Leachman, from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of that life.
With forewords by NFL legends Phil Simms and Harry Carson, this is a true story of one family’s love for a game and for each other, one man’s strength of character, one woman’s love that sustained him.
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Madeline Clark’s life seems like the life of a dozen different individuals. From the beginning of her troubled life, she is met head-on with one horrific circumstance after another at the hands of people she hopes and prays will be her saving graces. After finding her way out of South Africa, Maddie finds fleeting hope with David Blakely, a man she has no choice but to trust to pull her from poverty and imminent death, but cannot possibly know that his attention will be the beginning of her end and the catalyst for a lifetime of heartache and repeated loss and grief.
Maddie’s life, laid out for readers by Lucia Mann in her book, Addicted to Hate, is one of the most tragic about which I have ever read. It’s difficult to know where to begin explaining the layers Mann has revealed with her vivid and gripping descriptions of Maddie’s harrowing childhood, her abusive marriage to a vile man, and the horrific road she travels as a mother to three girls who could not care less if she lived or died. It is almost beyond comprehensible that Maddie could survive the mental and physical challenges with which she is faced from the beginning to the bitter end of her amazing and tortured life.
Mann has taken this story, based on actual events, and set Maddie forth as an unlikely heroine who overcomes insurmountable odds as she talks herself through each of her hardships including three pregnancies that, by all accounts, were miracles and curses at the same time. Maddie is the poster child of life testing us. She seems to have received each and every trial imaginable, the most tragic of which is the complete abhorrence her daughters have for her. I found myself rooting, paragraph by paragraph, for a turn of events for Maddie. I felt a visceral reaction with each mention of her daughter Mara’s blatant and evil brutalization of her mother. I wanted desperately for Maddie to see the light and make a break from her toxic children, but Maddie is better than most; she may be better than all of us.
Maddie’s intellect is her own saving grace. Her abilities are put to use in the most fascinating ways, and even that amazing opportunity cannot completely pull her from her spiral. Mann is a master at having her readers draw hopeful conclusions before letting them down abruptly.
The overall subject matter of Mann’s work is enhanced by the tone in which she writes. While maintaining a third person point of view, she manages nicely to incorporate a hint of second person questioning while drawing the reader further into Maddie’s overpowering drama.
Mann has given audience to an amazing tale of endurance and determination. In addition to the heartbreaking events of Maddie’s life, Mann shows readers the embodiment of true and unwavering unconditional love. Nowhere else can readers find a more poignant tale of loss, betrayal, and incredible triumph.
Pages: 254 | ASIN: B07K4TXQC7
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