When clinical psychologist Barbara Wilson was faced with the devastating loss of her adult daughter Sarah, her professional skills were sorely tested. How she, her husband Mick, and their family came to terms with their loss is detailed in First Year, Worst Year, a moving memoir of survival during and after bereavement. Filled with photos of the Wilson family and their journey retracing the last moments of their daughter, who perished in a rafting accident in Peru, this book is a testament to the resilience of the human heart, even after it’s been broken.
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"Our daughter Sarah was 36 when she died in a white-water rafting accident in Peru. Her body has never been found."
This story begins with a dreadful telephone call and ends one year later with a journey to the canyon where Sarah died. It is essentially a mother’s diary of the first year of bereavement, set alongside reflections from both parents three years on.
The diary portrays the challenge of getting through each day in a state of grief, trauma and shock. It describes how individual members of the family coped, the support received from The Compassionate Friends (a group of bereaved parents), and the gradual easing of pain.
The final message is that people do survive and go on to lead meaningful lives even after the most devastating loss. We trust that telling this story will provide bereaved people with hope and a way through their difficult time, and that it will take other readers to a deeper level of understanding.
Barbara Wilson, OBE, is a world-renowned clinical neuropsychologist. Her husband Mick is a retired publisher.Review:
"...portrays the challenge of getting through each day in a state of grief, trauma and shock." (Human Givens Journal, Vol.11, No.4, 2004)
"...a potentially useful resource..." (Journal of Mental Health, Vol 14 (3) 2005)
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