Top positive review
41 people found this helpful
A story of help and hope for those who are searching for comfort
on January 13, 2007
Gloria Vanderbilt's novel isn't about Gloria, it's about Suicide and the aftermath of depression and grief. Even in the ever increasing, unwanted clique of suicide survivors, it's still fairly rare for those who have actually witnessed the suicide of our dearly loved ones to find help for our special sorrow. Suicide of a loved one is hard enough to deal with, but there's a distinctive anguish that must be dealt with when such a disturbing, shocking, and painful life-taking event is witnessed.
Such an event separates us from the rest of society in an uncomfortable and agonizing way, and no one could have been more separated from her feelings than the last American Debutante: Gloria Vanderbilt. Raised to be a "lady", to never show strong emotions, to remain in control at all times, Gloria experienced many shattering events, but her "glass bubble" broke when her son committed suicide before her very eyes. Gloria had to break her glass bubble in order to survive, to deal with the overpowering emotion exclusive to survivors of suicide, and she poignantly shares her journey in this heartrending account of her son's life and death. Breaking her "bubble" was a gutsy act, one that perhaps you are facing now. I found strength in her words, and courageousness in her willingness to share her unique pain. Her story is about celebrating her son's life and accomplishments, remembering him as he was before his illness overtook his life, and about her courage to "break the glass bubble" and share her deep, heartfelt emotion and pain in order to help others in spite of her upbringing, which encouraged a lady to bottle up feelings.
The stigma attached to suicide, and even those who are left behind, is often crippling. None felt this stigma more than a woman in constant "limelight", a woman of "old money" forced into a strict code of ethics that forbade public displays of emotion, or public displays of weakness. Uneducated people see suicide as a weakness, and apply this not just to the originator but to his/her family in his/her wake.
I highly recommend this book for survivors of suicide. If you're looking for courage in this time of great need, please pick up a copy of this book. Also, do a google search for 'suicide survivors', and call your local Crisis Hotline for survivors groups in your area or phone numbers to call. You're not alone. There are groups of real people out there who share your unique pain, please contact them.