Saturday, February 1, 2014

She lived a nightmare (Review of And Life Comes Back)

And Life Comes Back: One Woman's Heartbreak and How She Found Tomorrow by Tricia Lott Williford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If one day your husband was fine and a few days later he dies in your arms, you would probably try to pull yourself out of a nightmare.  Only for Tricia Lott Williford, there was no escaping this nightmare because the sirens, paramedics and funeral were all too real.  Left with two boys, both toddlers, and life being turned upside down -- on the day before Christmas Eve, she had a long journey ahead of her to heal.  Not only did she need to heal, but her boys had questions.

How do you respond when your oldest starts Kindergarten and  you feel you should give the teacher the heads up on what happened less than a year ago?   How do you respond when you go to an open house and see he has said his dream trip is to hop on a cloud with his brother and mommy so they can visit daddy in heaven?

Although life seems to stop for Tricia, it continues for everyone else.  There are bills to pay.  Bill that arrive addressed to Robb Williford.

What do you say when people ask your marital status?  Especially when you aren't ready yet to remove the ring on your finger.  You still feel married.  But are you?  "Widowed" is such a harsh word.  Is that what you really are?  But you can't be.  You are too young to be a widow.

While I am sure the author censored this book and left some things private, it's a real journey.  It's honest.  She doesn't leave out panic attacks.  It's the book of death -- of a man who sounds like an amazing person.  The death of a relationship, a family.  But as the title says, "And Life Comes Back:  A Wife's story of Love, Loss, and Hope Reclaimed".   The boys begin praying for their new daddy.  She starts becoming open to the idea.  Not to replace Robb.  No one ever would.

This book was an amazing read.   I finished it in less than 12 hours.  I'm not sure I should say I loved this book because of the subject matter, but it was extremely well written.  It's also a book I have been looking forward to for a long time since I follow her blog and read she received a publishing contract.  The wait was worth it.  I expect it will be the best book I read this year.  It's that good.

She has a writing style that draws me and captures me especially when you mix that with her raw honesty.   I'm hoping to read more from her in the future (but hopefully if she does author another book it will be a more lighthearted subject matter as she's experienced enough pain for a lifetime.)

Even in the midst of tradgedy she can find humor.  I was reading this book and started laughing so hard someone in the room asked me what was so funny.  I read the passage to my friend -- a passage from right after Tricia's husband died and a victim's advocate was pretty much intruding on the family.  As I read it, my friend started laughing as hard as I was.  At the end of the passage, the author says once this woman left she told everyone they were more helpful than she was.  They laughed.  Many times I have said in life you have to choose to laugh or cry.  While they were crying, they chose to laugh, and it comes through the pages of a book beautifully.

While I finished this book about two weeks ago, I can't stop thinking about it.   I can't recommend it enough.  You won't forget this story of life, death, and learning to live after your world shattered.

FTC disclosure:  I was provided with an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  The opinions are my own.

More links:
Download Chapter One
Tricia Williford on Facebook
Purchase this book:  And Life Comes Back: A Wife's Story of Love, Loss, and Hope Reclaimed

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