4 out of 4 stars
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Martha Ann was confident and imaginative and loved making people laugh from a tender age. She was passionate to see a just world, and she devoted her time to this cause. Her daughter, Liamarie, was born when she was forty-three years old. This was after several years of trying and failing, and thus one cannot imagine the joy that the child brought. However, as the author notes that no one decides their fate, Martha was diagnosed with cancer that led to her accepting a bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins. The procedure, a phase II clinical study, was designed to see whether a stem cell transplant could increase the survival rates for patients with high-risk primary tumors. Unfortunately, Martha passed on unexpectedly leaving behind her three and a half-year-old daughter.
I Know It in My Heart: Walking Through Grief With a Child was authored by Mary E. Plouffe. The author is a clinical psychologist and this book chronicles her journey with her young niece. The book was published by She Writes Press in 2017 and is approximately 296 pages long. It comprises forty-nine chapters divided into four sections.
The author presents raw truths about the effects of the loss of a loved one and grieving. She had been growing more intimate with her sister during her last few months. She had lost her father at a young age, but her sister’s demise felt different. The loss could not be compared with any other and every message of condolence evoked a series of questions in her mind. Furthermore, she had to support her young niece Liamarie as well. Liamarie’s mourning came in distinct phases and each one brought different reactions and questions. The author had to walk with her every step of the way while also assisting Liamarie’s father, Herb, to know how to help her daughter.
There is nothing I disliked about the book. The language used was straightforward, and editing was professionally done as well. What I liked most is that the author attained her goal of helping the reader understand the evolution of childhood grief and its differences from adult grief. This was attained through the contrast evident in the book and also how she dealt with her grief and that of Liamarie. Her role shifted between allowing Liamarie to express herself through different channels like doll games and also assisting her to understand some realities in life. I was able to appreciate why she had to adopt a specific course of action as she provided sufficient illustrations. Equally, the use of vivid descriptions enabled me to visualize various scenes and also grasp how the author, her family, and other people felt.
I heartily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone who is walking with a grieving child. The book is also suitable for mental health workers and anyone who desires to understand the evolution of a child's grief. I cannot perfectly and thoroughly describe how I felt while reading and after reading this book. The only reasonable thing to do, therefore, is to invite all suitable readers to follow the author in her journey to not only help a young girl but also handle her own grief. No one will be left in the same state after poring over this book.
I Know It in My Heart:
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