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Losing a Child: Explorations in Grief Paperback – October, 2004
Top Customer Reviews
Review by Andy Vickery
"I have longed for madness, but an
incurable sanity afflicts me"
Judge Richard Rives was a legal leviathan. He was one of "The Four." The four Southern appellate judges who implemented the mandate of Brown v. Board of Education and who really desegregated the South. A "liberal." But like the others, he had suffered shunning and estrangement from his "own" people. As a young lawyer, fresh out of law school and working on the court, I relished the few minutes that I had with him. He was in his `80's, and, if ever I was to mine this oral history, the time was now. "What was the worst part?" I asked. With but a moment's hesitation, he answered, "when they desecrated my son's grave."
Thirty years later my friend Jim Fitzgerald and I were meeting with a couple who had lost their only son to Paxil-induced suicide. Although there was no way that we could fully appreciate everything that they had been through, to do our jobs properly we had to try "wearing their shoes even if they pinch, and then writing [or telling] their story." But first we had to tune in to their suffering in a way which would help them to believe that we at least had some inkling of its nature and its magnitude. So Jim began our meeting with a story of his own. He told how his 17 year old father lied about his age and joined the Marine Corps at the start of WWII; how he was captured when the US Embassy he was guarding was overrun by the Japanese; and how he then was forced to perform slave labor as a POW for the rest of the War. After the War, Jim's father was married and had two sons. One bleak cold morning, Jim's brother had a fatal accident with water and an electric toaster. Fifty years later a friend was interviewing Mr.Read more ›
It is in fact a very sad thing, since it involves the death of my lovely 18 year old niece.