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First Year: Worst Year: A diary of bereavement following the unexpected death of an adult daughter
WILSON, B.A., & Wilson, M.J
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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Our daughter Sarah was 36 when she died in a white water rafting accident in Peru. Her body has never been found. The story begins with a dreadful phone call and ends a year later with a journey to the deepest canyon on earth where Sarah died. The book is essentially a mother's diary of the first year of bereavement, set alongside reflections by both parents from three years on. The diary portrays the challenge of getting through each day in a state of grief, trauma and shock. There are descriptions of how individual members of the family coped, and particularly how a mother managed to get through her daily life and scientific work, as well as her travels to distant countries, in that first year of bereavement. The family received much support from the Compassionate Friends (a group of bereaved parents), which contributed towards a gradual easing of pain that develops as time passes. The final message is one of hope: people do survive and go on to lead meaningful lives even after the most devastating loss. The authors trust that telling their story will provide other bereaved people with hope and a way through their difficult time; and that it will take other readers, who have not faced such a devastating loss, to a deeper level of understanding of bereavement than is usual or indeed achievable in normal media coverage.