James Taylor lost his son Stephen after a long-term illness. In an attempt to work through his grief, James wrote letters to Stephen. Many of these touchingly human letters are reproduced in Letters to Stephen, interspersed with questions and thought-provoking discussions about different aspects of grief such as denial, dreams, and letting go.
"If you have experienced a serious loss, this book will help you live again." - Glad Tidings
Dear God, doesn't the pain ever go away? Is it ever going to be possible to react normally again? I talk to Claire Cote on the phone about her mother's death, and just an inflection in her voice sends me into tears all over again.
Am I ever going to get rid of this lassitude, this weariness, this inability to concentrate and get myself going on things?
After Stephen died, I thought the newspapers should have published a major obituary on him, to acknowledge his heroic struggle against terminal illness. Of course, they didn't. The obituaries were of people who built financial empires, or served a union for 50 years, or had won political office. Not of a 21-year-old kid who had managed to make life an adventure despite his disabilities.
I thought that if the newspapers weren't going to write his story, I would have to. I bought several packages of 3 x 5 file cards. Every time I remembered another incident from his life, I made notes of it and filed it carefully in a gray plastic filing box.
Over the next months, that box filled until I couldn't jam another card into it. I cried over every one of those file cards. But I didn't stop doing it.