Grief Denied is about healing: it is about coming to terms with the intimate pain and emotional violence that was unleashed by the Vietnam War. It is also a bittersweet love story in which a young girl meets a soldier-boy, a young bride loses her soldier-husband and how, on the 30th anniversary of their marriage, the mature woman is finally able to say good-bye to the man she will always love. Laurent tells her story with clarity and candor and a great deal of caring. There are vivid descriptions of her husband, Howard, who died in combat in Vietnam on May 10, 1968, when she was 22 years old and in the last phase of her first pregnancy. There are also sharp, tender portraits of her daughter Michelle, her parents, her friends and her lovers. The author doesn't seem to have held back anything or to have denied readers a full and complete view of her personality, including her dark side. So there are emotionally wrenching accounts of her depression, her suicidal feelings, her "insanity," as she calls it, as well as her therapy and recovery and rediscovery of prayer and faith. Grief Denied offers deeply moving passages from Howard's letters to Pauline shortly before his death. Laurent describes how Vietnam got to her, though she was thousands of miles away from the heat, the dirt and the mortars. If somehow or other you never did appreciate how Vietnam got to the heart of America, then this book ought to be at the top of your list of books to read. And if you are thinking of writing a memoir to express your seemingly inexpressible pain, then this book is also for you. "In writing I finally found a container which could hold my grief," Laruent writes. "the blank page wanted to hear it all--every last detail." -- The Press Democrat, August 29, 1999 by Jonah Raskin, Chairman of the Communication Studies Department at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.
From the Publisher
Comments From Early Readers Thank you so much for bravely and forthrightly sharing your story. It touched me deeply and has shown me more than you can imagine. You have opened my heart. Blessings to you. Robin Gail, RScP
Your book is amazing. I gained so many insights and shed many tears. I admire your ability to let the storms of your sorrow move through you. Linda Bennett, Hospice nurse
A surprisingly "easy read." One of the most taboo subjects in my family and in our country is handled with frankness and grace. Thanks so much for encouraging me to grieve and free my past. Ken B. 12-Step Member
Your book was written from your heart and in order to read it, I had to open my heart, too. It wasn't easy. There's a lot of unfinished loss there to look at. I realized I'm not finished grieving for my Vietnam veteran boyfriend. Thank you for writing this book. Dee Dee Schneider, Massage Therapist
I just finished reading your beautiful memoir in two nights. I didn't want to put it down. Your courage to tell your story and describe your process in grieving touched my heart. Anila Roberts, Hospice Nurse
You should furnish Kleenex with this book. I've only read the first few pages and I'm crying already. Ted Sexauer, Vietnam veteran and poet
Your book is incredible. I couldn't put it down (read it in two sittings.) What journeys -- one of your grieving and one of writing your story. Thank you for this wonderful gift. Julia Grant
I'm halfway through the book and I must admit you had my interest from the first paragraph. It's so fascinating to see into your mind and heart. It takes a lot of courage to express the truth on paper. It's beautifully written and I look forward to your next book. J. Rigler, Photojournalist and author.