Honest, open and raw.
Me After You
Random House UK, Ebury Publishing
‘He crashed on to the pillow next to me, heavy as a felled oak. I slapped His face and told Him to wake up.
Our daughter, B, appeared in the doorway, woken up by the screaming – I must have been screaming but I don’t remember – and she was crying and peering in. I told her the ultimate adult lie; that everything was all right.’
Sudden death is rude. It just wanders in and takes your husband without any warning; it doesn’t even have the decency to knock. At the impossibly young age of 37, as they were making love one night, Lucie Brownlee’s beloved husband Mark dropped dead.
As Lucie tried to make sense of her new life – the one she never thought she would be living – she turned to writing to express her grief.
I have been struggling with what I will write in this review – somebodies memories are what they are – memories and personal reflections. This is not a work of fiction where you can like or dislike the characters, or look for the plot twist or know it will all work out ok in the end. This is real. This life. And this is at times emotionally raw and blunt.
I picked up this book because I was looking for answers – I am not grieving but someone close to me is and it breaks my heart not being able to help them in their time of need. I discovered that grieving whether for a relationship that has been severed or a partner or relative that has died, no matter what reason…is difficult, traumatic, exhausting and so very personal. No one can feel the loss the way you feel the pain. No one can rally help you “get over” the severance of that cord that bound you together. You have to do that yourself and that takes time.
What I learned is that you can help by providing company, being a sounding board, checking in and seeing that everything is ok, giving hugs, providing the physical help – doing the dishes, hanging out the washing, making meals, reminding the grieving one that they are achieving, they have coped with organising/ dealing with all those mundane things that still need attention at this time; moving house, arranging/dealing with insurance companies, government departments, rental agencies, getting up each day and facing the next one…and by sharing that one day when you least expect it you will notice that life is just a little easier and the weight on your shoulders a little lighter.
This is a brave, at times blunt and open personal story of love and loss and the road to recovery.