I bought this book at least a year ago. Frankly, I was avoiding reading it because I felt it was going to be a traumatic experience, knowing it to be a true story. This weekend, however, I took the bull by the horns and decided to go for it. I thought it would be hard to read but actually it was very easy. The author wrote it in a style that made you feel that she was talking to you personally, as if sitting in the same room, sharing a pot of tea.

I have always said that it would be the most terrible thing if one of my children died before me but I am fortunate indeed that all of my children are still alive; as yet I have not had that experience. It’s hard to know exactly the anguish that Dave and Louise Rule went through, seeing their beloved son die the way he did; as a mother, I can understand some. Louise tells their story in such a way that it’s almost dispassionate but we can feel that this is not a woman who will scream and shout and make everyone know her pain. One felt for her desperately that she didn’t get the help that she so needed when she finally saw the bereavement counsellor – what point is a counsellor like that? The reader is also confused and angry at their consultation with the registrar.

Somehow, I managed to read most of it dry-eyed, except one bit had me in tears. I shed them because I felt Rob’s trauma, his realisation, and Louise’s pain. Very moving. I was reading this book at a time when I was myself ill and it left me thankful that my illness was nothing. I knew I would get well; Rob didn’t.

At the end of the book, Louise talks about organ donation and her investigations into skin donation, something she had never heard of and neither had I. A very worthwhile book and I wished I’d read it sooner.

 

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