Susan Chase Edgecomb, "Clearing in the West: Navigating the Journey Through Loss, Grief and Healing" (2021)


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The untimely losses of her brother, her father, and her husband, make this author uniquely qualified to help support you through your loss and grief. She understands that each loss will change one’s life in different ways as she writes about the fears and questions that swirled in her head following each of the deaths in her immediate family. In Chapter nine she focuses on the first loss in the family, when her older brother was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967. Her father died of a heart attack in 1970. Chapter sixteen describes the sudden death of her husband in 1984 when he suffered a heart attack while playing racquet ball. She writes about her early months as a young widow with a three-year-old daughter and wonders if grief is cumulative.The author realized, early on, that her family’s traditional way of grieving, did not work for her. She gives important, information on how family and friends’ attempt to be helpful, can sometimes fall short. Grief overload moved her to be proactive in finding the support she needed. Because of these experiences and her commitment to moving forward and creating a new and satisfying life, she decided to tell her story. The author wants to share what she has learned about the process of grief and to inspire others to use her experiences to better understand what grief looks like from the inside out. This memoir is a testament to the resilience, strength, and determination of those coping with grief and perhaps starting to move forward on their journey.

Clearing in the West: Navigating the Journey Through Loss, Grief and Healing (2021) is the author's first book. As a teacher, she taught her students to "write what you know." Now retired, she has become a writer herself. Her article, "The Wall," was published in the Boston Globe Magazine, November 11, 2018. She lives in Needham, MA and spends summer in Maine, when not traveling.

Elizabeth Cronin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher with offices in Brookline and Norwood, MA. You can follow her on Instagram or visit her website.

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