Traveling With Ghosts by Shannon Leone Fowler

33289571.jpg– “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” “You have your whole life ahead of you.” Time heals all wounds.” “It was just his time.” “I know exactly how you feel.” …”You’re so strong, if I lost Rob, I wouldn’t survive.” … It also seemed to imply that *something like this* could never happen to them. Because they wouldn’t survive, they wouldn’t be able to get through it, they would just curl up and die. That it had happened to me because I was strong. It made it feel like a choice. Or my fault. –

– The girls had let me initiate the conversations, or they’d let me choose to be quiet. They made sure to talk about Sean, to use his name and to say it often. But they never offered platitudes or cliches. They’d brought me food, and encouraged me to keep eating and drinking. And they’d done their best to avoid leaving me alone. –

– In the books that I read and the movies I watched after Sean died, I was always taken aback by how quickly the plot fast-forwarded through grief and on to recovery and the lessons learned. My own journey has not been a tidy story of triumph over grief. It took a lot longer, and was a hell of a lot harder, than I ever thought it would be. –

– When I first started writing this story down, an early reader said, “I didn’t find the silver lining.” But this is what Poland taught me – that real tragedies don’t need to be redeemed, they need to be remembered. –

Review for the Sunday Times:


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