ONCE MORE WE SAW STARS by Jayson Greene

ONCE MORE WE SAW STARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Brooklyn-based music journalist’s account of his 2-year-old daughter’s accidental death and his journey to acceptance of her passing.

One day, Greene and his wife, Stacy, left Greta with her grandmother. Shockingly, a brick from an eighth-story windowsill fell on Greta’s skull, causing irreversible brain damage. Overcome with grief and guilt for having “failed this little person so completely,” the couple struggled to fit the shattered pieces of their life together again. “Grief at its peak has a terrible beauty to it,” he writes, “a blinding fission of every emotion.” A bitter rage made Greene hate the “unexamined happiness” of the people—especially parents—he saw around him while Stacy was forced to confront not only her own anguish, but that of her mother. After feeling Greta’s presence in a local park, the author suddenly realized that “there will be more light upon this earth for me.” He and Stacy began attending grief workshops, one of which included a medium who encouraged them to “pay attention to signs” from their loved ones. They also decided to leave the home where Greta “padd[ed] agreeably around every corner” and start a new life—complete with what they hoped would one day be another child—elsewhere in the city. They took up yoga while Greene “became a prospector for safe screaming spaces” where he could release pent-up emotional suffering. After the couple discovered they were pregnant, they went to see a ceremonialist in New Mexico who they hoped would help them process Greta’s death along with the impending birth of the son who would never know his sister. The powerful visions of death and rebirth they experienced helped them to understand and embrace the brokenness within themselves with love, grace, and gratitude. Compassionate and sensitively told, Greene’s story accomplishes an exceptionally difficult feat: transforming tragedy into both a spiritual journey and a celebration of wonder.

A poignantly uplifting memoir of moving forward after terrible loss.

Pub Date: May 14th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5247-3353-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2019




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