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Book Review – Out of the Canyon

It was national news long before Twitter was even a concept. Art Daily, his wife and 2 sons were going home after one of the boy’s hockey game. A Rocky Mountain boulder, which had sat in its place for a thousand years, came loose above a Colorado highway. It crushed Art’s car, killing his family.

This book is amazing on several levels.

That someone could find the words to put to that level of grief is mind bending. But Daily does it. It’s raw, it’s eloquent. It’s the most loving tribute you’ve read in a long time. It’s astonishingly honest. One can only imagine the thoughts that a survivor like Art would have. He exposes all of them.

That someone would be willing to relive the horror, just to share it with others in hopes of helping someone on a similar path? Heroic. He accomplishes his goal. No matter what you are grieving, you will find yourself in this book. You will finally have words for some of what you’ve been feeling. You’ll know you are not alone.

You’ll know you are not crazy.

Daily speaks freely of the many ways he tried to fill the enormous hole in his heart. Some you can guess. Others will be a surprise. Some he tried, and later rejected. Others he stayed with for a long time. Most encouraging was that chiropractic helped so much. It makes sense that it does, but one doesn’t automatically think of that application of it. It is a rare occasion that the suggestion is made, even by a chiropractor!

We don’t meet the co-author, Art’s second wife Allison, until half way through. The closeness of her parents and brothers is immediately known. We’re let in on the special bond she has with one brother. When he accomplishes suicide in his twenties, we discover, with Allison, that he took part of her with him.

The book does well exposing the nightmare of survivor guilt. Allison is not an emotional writer, but much more lyrical than mere recitation of fact. She takes us on her journey, and we come to trust her with that.

Grief is the bond that brought Art and Allison together. The story of how they met is delightful, as is watching their relationship develop. Neither one was looking, or even ready, for another commitment. They struggled with the notion. A love story in the middle of debilitating trauma? It’s perfect. Ohbladee Ohbladah. Life DOES go on. The world WILL keep spinning.

One point is strongly stressed in the book, and it is the very key to survival. Yes, it is a matter of life and death. Having an emotional support system will keep you grounded, will feed you, will gently bring you back. NO ONE recovers from grief alone.

The reader is advised to remember that this is a true story, not fiction. There may be times you might think “Wow. That’s kind of Out There.” Grief is like that.

Shalom.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Rev. Jaclin Meade Scott. All rights reserved.
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