4 out of 4 stars
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Life is a precious gift. Sometimes we are happy to be alive, and other times we are in misery and pain. We don't know what's going on in somebody's mind. We don't know anyone's struggle. One of such struggling souls was Will Trautwein, a fifteen-year-old teenager who took his life on 15th October 2010. The Trautwein family never imagined that such a day would ever come in their life, but it did. My living Will by John Trautwein is a father's message for this world where he shares his immense pain and grief. The book equally focuses on his journey to form Will to Live foundation.
The first few chapters focus on the family’s severity of loss and pain. It displays the range and intensity of emotions that everyone was going through. There is no filter about the situation and their reaction to it, which is a very brave thing to show to the world. Their vulnerability and hurt can be felt if not completely understood. The book’s purpose is not to focus on the worst that happened but on strengthening and keeping the faith. They kept their belief intact and surrendered to God. Their loving family and neighbours made sure that they were okay at every step. It’s shown how the darkness of death cannot diminish the light of life. John Trautwein proves that even if a situation is the worst one possible, it doesn't mean that it can’t be shaped into giving a better outcome. It takes immense courage to build something meaningful from something like death, but the Trautwein family created a loving and healing environment from all their loss and pain.
I immensely enjoyed and liked the book. The book is full of love and life. It has so many examples of continuity and hope. The family is so deeply affected, but they pick up their pieces and sing in Will’s room, which was courageous and important. The parents handled the little kids amazingly. John and Susie provided them with open-ended communication and care and never left their side. The way Will’s friends wore his number 13 and initial during games touched my soul. Everyone worked towards keeping Will’s spirit alive and in light. John Trautwein has included helpful points to identify and approach a person going through suicidal thoughts, which I found profoundly helpful. His sheer will and determination to be aware and help people are commendable. The book constantly teaches how love and time heal everything.
The only thing I disliked was a sequence of repetitive events regarding John’s gaming experiences. It was hard for me to go through that, and I believe the book has the power to be real and to the point without a mention of such events. However, it didn’t take the light away from the book’s core purpose.
I would like to rate this book four out of four stars. The book is exceptionally well-edited. It’s an incredible piece of John’s life that he has shared with the world. It feels as if we knew this family personally, which helps the reader to connect on a deeper level.
I’d recommend everyone to go through this book and spread out the kind word that John wants to share. The book serves as a great initial point for people who want to know such stories and analyse one’s suicidal behavior. It's helpful for people suffering from the same loss and pain. The youngsters should definitely pick this book up and realize the importance of this topic to make our society a better place.
My Living Will
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