3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A raw, brave and insightful account of grief and madness,
This review is from: Do You Realize?: A Story of Love and Grief and the Colours of Existence (Paperback)"Do You Realize?" is a deeply personal book written with grace and honesty by a psychotherapist working in palliative care. She describes a mental breakdown or period of disintegration she experienced following the death of a patient and the loss of her father. The book juxtaposes this with the equally disorienting experience of falling in love, with its inherent fear of loss. The use of prose interspersed with poetry and word painting brings the reader right inside the rollercoaster of the author's consciousness, and the effect is raw, surreal, bewildering and ultimately healing. She reflects on how it feels to unravel, and the way that madness brings freedom and exhilaration as well as terror. The picture she paints of how she was able to rebuild and slot back into her normal life again is delicate and honest.
The author balances beautifully-written case studies with clear and intelligent references to theory and her personal experiences of facing death with those who are dying. I think many readers would enjoy being privy to the therapist's view of a session. She also presents an intelligent and thoughtful sense of the role of the therapist working with death: how they must manage the dance of engaging with the patient to do the job, and disengaging from the existential to maintain their own sanity... the feeling for the therapist of walking the rickety bridge with the dying patient, putting themselves in danger as well.
This is a rare and brave book full of insights for anyone interested in love, death, grief and therapy.
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