Monday, January 07, 2008

Dear Friends,

Here are a few more reader reactions to Snapshots. Please remember to continue to buy copies by visiting

It is a wonderful book, Alan. Clearly a work of love, and can be helpful to others on a similar journey. You touched well on something that others not in acute grief either forget, overlook or are uncomfortable with: grieving goes on, and on. Thank you for writing it and for sharing it with others


Hi Alan,

I finished reading Snapshots and just want to commend you on what a terrific job you did in many areas. By the time I finished reading it I felt like I knew Ben very well, in spite of the fact that I never met him. You also did a great job in describing the pain that continues long after the loss. As I read the book I got the sense that Ben affected the course of your life just as much as you affected the course of his, long before that tragic day in November. Snapshots gave me a good sense of your parenting experience, not just with Ben, but with the entire family. This book was very powerful on many levels.

My brother was killed in an accident involving a bicycle on June 15, 1957. He was 11 at the time and I was 7. Now, over a half century later, I still vividly remember all of the events of that day as though it happened yesterday. I'm sorry to say, the void that comes with the unexpected and untimely loss of a family member stays with you the rest of your life. The only thing that changes is your ability to move on as time goes by. As time goes by, also, you wonder what that family member would have been like today, and you feel that family member's absence when there are special events involving the family. I would bet my life you thought about Ben on your wedding day and envisioned what it would have been like had he been there with you to share the experience.

You are so right when you say the grieving process is very individualized for every different person. My mother was able to move on, albeit without a day having gone by where she doesn't think about her lost son and missing him. My father was a totally broken man who never recovered. He never wanted to go to bar mitzvahs because they were too painful and it filled him with sadness when he saw others enjoying themselves with their sons.

One of my most powerful memories came with the loss of a cousin in St. Louis. You might have known him -Sherman Bradley. He was a few years younger than me and I'm quite sure he graduated from high school at Ladue. He was in his late teens at the time he was killed in a traffic accident. It happened in an intersection where his truck was struck by a Greyhound bus. I'll never forget the way his grieving father, cousin Marvin, looked at me when I made my shiva call. He very sorrowfully uttered: "Now I know how your father felt." That says it all.

Alan, I hope the book is widely read and becomes a classic.

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