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My Mourning Year: A Memoir of Bereavement, Discovery and Hope Paperback – 20 Apr 2017
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A moving - and insightful - exploration of a year of grief --Rosalind Lowe, Mail on Sunday
Wonderfully comforting --The Guardian
About the Author
Andrew Marshall has written seventeen self-help books - as Andrew G. Marshall - including the international best-seller I love you but I'm not in love with you. His work has been translated into twenty different languages and he still writes for the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. This is the first time he's written about himself.
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Grief affects everyone differently and I'm sure Andrew Marshall isn't the first and won't be last to ask 'why is this happening to me?' when confronted with the loss of a loved one. Some might think him a bit selfish at times considering he wasn't the one facing the end of his life, but I think you're bound to have a whole mix of emotions. How do you face life alone when you expected to be together forever? I can't even imagine how I would cope if I lost my husband. It doesn't bare thinking about.
A lot of the feelings Andrew describes are so similar to those my Mum has talked about since losing my step-dad at only 58 years old. There is just no justice in someone dying so young. No amount of time is ever enough when you love someone. Mum and Dave only had 12 years together. Mum never imagined she would be widowed at only 53 years old and her loss feels as raw (on some days) nearly 9 years on as it did at the time. On the flip side, my next door neighbour, John, lost his wife in February. She was 89 and he is 90. They were together for almost 70 years, married for 65, and although he's very thankful for their long and happy marriage he still feels like they didn't have enough time together. We always want more.
I found Andrew Marshall's story completely compelling, painfully honest and moving. However much a death is expected it's always a shock in the end and I really felt for him.
It is also quite uplifting in the end as he learns to live his life again. Grief is never easy and no two people grieve in the same way, but we all tend to cope eventually because we have to.
I'm looking forward to reading 'The Power Of Dog'.
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go: this is not a self-help book, at least not in the traditional sense. So, if you dislike the kind of books that tell you what to do with an underlying attitude of smugness, you will be relieved to find none of that superiority here. However, while Andrew may not offer direct, in-your-face advice, there is no doubt that, as was the case with others, his story will help people in a similar situation.
Andrew’s diary entries are very real and very raw. This story is not like the movies; it is real life. I was in no doubt about how much Andrew loved Thom and how seeing Thom suffer was taking a terrible toll. However, unlike these Hollywood ideals, not everybody can 100% dedicate themselves to caring for a dying person, waiting on them constantly and doing not much else with their own life. Andrew is very open about his selfish moments, how he wants to spend every last minute with Thom but finds it hard to forget his own needs. Andrew still needs to work in order to pay the bills. His life cannot stop. This is what I loved about My Mourning Year. I can imagine there are many people having the same conflicted thoughts who are overwhelmed with guilt and are struggling to understand their feelings. By putting his own unedited story out there, Andrew is telling these people they are not alone. Feeling understood is something important and in this indirect way, Andrew’s story helps as much as any self-help book.
I can’t deny that this book is a heart-wrenching read. Therefore, I almost feel bad saying I enjoyed reading about Andrew’s struggle but I did. The diary format made it a snappy read and I always found myself always reading one more chapter. Additionally, the prose of this book was beautiful. Andrew has been a professional writer for years and is also a trained counsellor so you could say he knew what he was doing but My Mourning Year has the deep emotion one can only get from writing from the heart. There were also some light-hearted moments to enjoy, especially those concerning Tyson the dog. In fact, Tyson helped Andrew so much he decided to get his own puppy, Flash. T