Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir / Greene, Jayson

An Amazon Best Book of May 2019: There’s a moment early in Once More We Saw Stars when Jayson Greene’s 2-year-old daughter, Greta, is in the hospital, hovering between life and death but slipping towards the latter, and “we glance around us, realizing this is the last we’ll ever see of the world as we’ve known it. Whatever comes next will raze everything to the ground.” That sentence illustrates how difficult it is to read this memoir without a lump in one’s throat. In the hierarchy of death, the death of a child is the worst, the one that makes people recoil. Those who experience such a trauma frequently talk about moving through a fog of grief, unable to recall the particulars of the days and weeks after the death, memories and heartstrings cauterized by the searing pain of loss. How amazing, then, that Greene can recall those particulars: the pain, the grief, the fears that their little family will never again experience joy, and the worry that his marriage cannot survive such loss. And that even in the midst of trauma he knows he and his wife have the tools and the traits to get out the other side, to refashion their broken life into one where they can laugh again. How they keep their eyes on that prize is what makes this memoir a heartbreaking but reassuring look at courage, resilience, our slim hold on life, and the bonds of family that make life precious. —Vannessa Cronin
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