To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Mary Jane Hurley Brant's "When Every Day Matters" examines an extremely personal journey of struggle, hope, profound loss and a mother's bereavement. Brant's journal entries of the days following the passing of her daughter, Katie, are juxtaposed with details of Katie's harrowing struggle with brain cancer. The book also delves into the early teenage years of Brant, exposing the pain of losing her father to suicide.
Brant holds nothing back in her chronicle of a decade-long, life-altering crisis. She poignantly shares sentiments only a mother would know, from the sacred space of losing a child. From Katie's diagnosis in her freshman year of college, through excruciating brain surgeries and treatment, attempts to find "normal" in continuing storms, and a family's resolve to never quit, Brant reveals the passion of a family struggling to save their child.
"When Every Day Matters" takes a microscopic look at the heart of parental grief, a reality that every parent hopes to never experience. But, for a variety of reasons, many parents outlive their offspring. The remaining question, "What now?" often rings hollow. Brant's book provides a brave insight into daring to face tomorrow, finding life again, and learning to honor a lost child.
I am an avid reader, but I rarely take the time (or expend the energy) in writing reviews...despite how much I benefit from reviews written by others! I will make an exception here. This is a remarkable book - it spans the the loss spectrum from ragged grief through returning to a hint of joy with such clarity and authenticity. In this book, the author chronicles the story of losing her beloved daughter through a series of letters and commentaries. As a relatively new member of the club with the highest dues in the world, I have read many books over this past year since losing our child. This one, however, truly struck a chord. It is brutally honest, it avoids any sugar coating...and yet, in each vignette is buried the seeds of hope for a better future. I read it in one sitting - mesmerized by the prose and the emotion of this author - and feeling such a deep connection to all that she has experienced. For those of you who have suffered the ultimate loss of a child, and for those of you who know someone who has experienced such loss, this book provides tremendous insight into the journey into...and beyond..the heart of darkness that such a loss demands. Bravo!
This is the story, heartfelt and beautifully told, of a devoted mother and primary caregiver, Mary Jane Hurley Brant, and how she endured her daughter Katie's decade-long battle with brain cancer. Having already experienced a number of significant losses in her family, the author recognizes early on that she has several choices in front of her: to be absent from her present life and the lives of those who love and need her (and whom she also needs and loves), to give up the future and live in her past memories, or to accept the multitude of gifts she has gained from being Katie's mother and trust that she will survive without her.
Following the advice of close friends to "write herself back to sanity, serenity and wholeness," the author carefully chronicles her journey through the first year of grief following her daughter's death. In the process of writing letters to Katie, she constructs an honest, intimate and loving memoir brimming with the unconditional love between mother and child, as she describes her successful efforts to champion her daughter to live her life to the fullest, reach her lofty goals and fulfill her destiny, despite the very short time this remarkable young woman was given on this earth. (While enduring treatments of her own, Katie Brant worked tirelessly to establish Katie's Kids for the Cure, aimed at finding a cure to rid children of brain tumors.)
The author peppers her writing with occasional "Looking Back Reflections" that offer additional insights, wisdom and understanding about life, love and loss, based not only on Hurley Brant's personal experience but on her education and training as a certified group psychotherapist and Human Relations Counselor as well. This example (on page 208) is a simple and eloquent description of how to help another in grief, and certainly echoes the sentiments of every bereaved parent mourning the death of a child:
"When I think about what I really needed at this time I would have to say that I needed someone to hold my hand and give me a hug. I needed someone to say something wonderful about Katie. I needed to hear someone say her name out loud. I also needed someone to tell me that while I would never be the same again that I would make it."
This is a beautiful book, and one that I would recommend highly both to caregivers and to bereaved parents as an example of determination and resilience, and a comforting source of inspiration and hope.
In my heart wrenching journey through grief I have searched for books that would help me. If you or someone you know is dealing with a terminal diagnosis, or is grieving, read When Every Day Matters. It is real. You will feel like you are reading your friend’s story. You may feel like you could have written parts of it. It will touch you heart.
I bought this book when my son passed away suddenly four years ago. There is really nothing that will get rid of the pain from your loss, but this book helped me through a very hard time, just knowing someone like me is out there and having the same feelings.
Love this book, I actually met this young woman and her family while she was in high school they used the dentist I worked for. Katie was such a beautiful girl and had a beautiful smile and a great personality even at a young age.
For a year following my sons death I was lost in my grief. I spent months reading book after book on losing a child and the grief one experiences trying to find something that would help me through it. While I found some relief nothing touched me like this book. I would be repeating what everyone else who has given this book 5 stars has said so I just say "ditto" to all of them. Everything about this book is good. If you've lost a child I highly recommend you read this book. If you can't afford to buy a book right now I'm sure your local library has a copy.
Mary Jane also has a site [...] where she talks about her life and daughter. On this site she has a link where she posts stories from other parents who have lost a child. Both mothers and fathers. I also found this site to be helpful. If you find Tylers story that is my son.
This is the most beautiful, powerful, healing book that I have read! I have purchased many, many books on grief, healing, spirituality and loss in the 20 months since I lost my precious daughter Kris to pediatric cancer at age 23. NONE have come close to the impact that this book has made on me. Mary Jane, thank you for sharing this beautiful memoir and for your guidance to help with healing and hope and life with joy and purpose.
This book will inspire anyone who reads it! I work with families who live with grief daily and how they explain this darkest journey, I tell them they don't need to do it alone. I can't relate with my clients on the level of grief they are feeling but some of them have read this book since I finished it. The response has been, that this book is a gift of hope in some of the darkest hours of their lives.
There are many books about child loss but not many are based on the journal of a bereaved mother. In "When Every Day Matters", Mary Jane Hurley Brant has a year's letters she had written to her daughter. In these letters she is not only describing her feelings but expressing her love, affection and admiration. Mary Jane's book is poignantly written and an inspiration to bereaved parents particularly those who had a recent loss. The author also portrays the uniqueness of the mother-daughter bond that remains even after the child dies. Mary Jane, a devoted mother displayed her courage in accepting the death of her daughter and honoring her memory. The title of Mary Jane's book is a reminder to parents that everyday with their children matters and that they should not take it for granted that their children would always be there.
Randah Ribhi Hamadeh, Author Summer Rays: Solace for Bereaved Parents