by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel
There are few, if any, events in life as traumatic, heart-wrenching, and crushing as the death of a child. While nothing can mute the pain of such a life-shattering loss, others who know this experience can help those suffering articulate the chaos of their feelings and see that they can, eventually, feel whole again.
How Two Grieving Mothers Found Inspiration and Comfort
There are few, if any, events in life as traumatic, heart-wrenching, and crushing as the death of a child. While nothing can
mute the pain of such a life-shattering loss, others who know this experience can help those suffering articulate the chaos of their
feelings and see that they can, eventually, feel whole again.
Organized by a journalist and a psychotherapist, each of whom have lost a child, A Broken Heart Still Beats is a
remarkable compilation of poetry, fiction, and essays about the pain, stages of grief, and the coping and healing process that
follows the death of one's child. The chapters are organized thematically and chronologically, from "Thunderstruck," the point
at which parents first learn they have lost a child, to "The Legacy of Loss," wherein the authors and the anthology selections
speak to the "steely hard and cold" life lessons this type of bereavement brings.
This compilation of poems and excerpts draws from short stories, novels, biographies, and autobiographies that focus on the
death of a child as relayed through classic and contemporary world literature. It is made up of works by some of the best
writers and thinkers present and past, many of them bereaved parents as well, ranging from Mark Twain, Isabel Allende,
William Shakespeare, John Edgar Wideman, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anne Tyler, and Sophocles to
Eric Clapton and Winston Churchill. Biographical introductions personalize the excerpts, often offering new insights into
well-known writers like William Faulkner and Rudyard Kipling. This book's anthologized selections make it truly exceptional.
This book expresses the universal themes of grief--and the common points of these experiences and feelings--in language
and imagery that goes straight to the heart. The fact that each of the authors has lost a child brings a powerful authenticity to the
book. Bereaved parents and family members as well as mental health professionals, bereavement counselors, and those
interested in grief literature will all find this book extremely valuable.
"As one who has experienced the tragic, untimely death of a child, I have found this anthology of similar
experiences an excellent source of comfort and healing."
--George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate.
"By putting words to what is surely the most unspeakable of life's losses, this eloquent and painfully
honest book may help make the darkness a little less dark, the loneliness a little less lonely."
--Judith Viorst, author of Necessary Losses
Born and raised in new York, Mary Semel graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore. She is a psychotherapist who,
after working for many years at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, now has a private practice. Her sixteen-year-old son, Alexander,
was killed in a car accident in 1991.
Anne McCracken is a former newspaper reporter and feature writer. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband,
Tom, and her daughter, Hollis. She lost her five-year-old son, Jake, in 1989.
433 pages; 8 1/2 X 11;soft bound
Stock-Usually ships in 8-10 business days!