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Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and…
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Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope

by Amy Welborn

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was a bit disappointed in this book. I found it difficult to understand the way she dealt with her grief. The last thing I think I would wish to do after the death of my husband is run to another country attempting to "right the ship" so to speak. Everyone griefs differently and I don't believe she gave her children their individual time to do so. A dissapointment since I have enjoyed her previous works.
  Denise101 | Jan 8, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted this book because I've read other writings by Amy Welborn and appreciate her style. I was disappointed; yet my dissatisfaction with this book may be purely personal. It reads very much like I often felt in the early days following my husband's death. It is disconnected, wandering, questioning, and filled with confusion. All of which can easily be expected from a young wife and mother experiencing a traumatic loss. While I am so grateful for the understanding that we all grieve differently and I am hopeful this book will touch the hearts of many in her situation, it just didn't work for me. Maybe too Roman Catholic, yet I valued her theological questioning and finds. Just too hard to follow. As much as I hate to admit it, because it sounds so judgmental and I don't think any of us has a right to tell another how to grieve, I just didn't like being privy to those early feelings. Again, her language is quite lovely and she is a good writer, but this book did not work for me. I await the day when I will find "just the person" who needs it. ( )
  marasgma | Aug 9, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this book as an Advanced Review Copy. I wanted to like "Wish You Were Here." I liked the premise of a new widow who leaves Alabama and takes 3 of her children to Sicily for an extended vacation in order to get away from all the reminders of her beloved husband, and to give her children and herself time and space to grieve. However, I didn't like the book. While the family traveled from site to site, and experienced new things, it was relentlessly religious, and the author, Amy Welborn kept ruminating on her husband's death. Too theological, and frankly, too depressing to finish. I read 3/4 of this book over a long period, and finally just gave up. ( )
  augustdreams | May 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was delightfully painful but also uplifting. I found myself with watery eyes in almost every chapter. I attribute that to the pure honesty of the writing. I loved the challenges to catholic beliefs. My only criticism is how long it took me to make it through the book. From a literacy perspective, the book was well written. It was my emotional responses that slowed me down. ( )
  swivelgal | Apr 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My grandfather had been suffering from a disease that had crippled his mind for quite some time. His memories were confused, incomplete, and, in many cases, missing. He was unable to remember the many faces and voices that made up the story of his life, including those of his own ten children. Even his sense of structure, progress, and time were gone. As members of my family who lived closer to him reported it, he believed near the end of his life, in 2010, that Jimmy Carter was president, and, worse, he believed he was a good president. In spite of all of this, when he was told that his wife of 58 years, my grandmother, had passed away, he cried and yelled that he wanted to go to his wife. A few weeks later, he died.

Amy Welborn's "Wish You Were Here" is a story about that kind of love and that kind of loss. Her story of the premature and unexpected loss of her husband is an insight into the kind of love that, like my grandfather's, overcomes decades of hazy memories and alters the courses of lives. In other words, it is a story about the kind of love we should all seek to cultivate in our lives.

We are told, as Christians, that Christ has defeated death and that death and sin have no more power over us. St. Irenaeus of Lyons, an early Christian writer, once said that “the business of a Christian is to be always preparing for death.” Death (and taxes) are the only things certain in life, as the old saying goes. And yet we still mourn for those we have lost. We still doubt and fear for what death means for them and for all of us. We still wish that we could only delay it just a bit longer. We still struggle with how this pain fits into God's great plan. We still feel the loss of their presence, even as we retain hope that we will be with them again in a better place.

Amy's story is that story. Amy's story is our story. Her husband, a pious Catholic, a loving husband, and a father to her young children, was taken from his family one morning. No one expected it and no one could explain it. In her efforts to deal with her loss and the loss felt by her children, Amy took three of her children on a vacation in Sicily several months after her husband's death. While there, they explored the beautiful and ancient cathedrals, churches, ruins, villages, and countrysides. They spoke with the people and experienced – often, endured – the culture. And amid those medieval buildings, created by men who lived and died and whose bones crumbled into dust long ago, and those people there today with their strange communal afternoon naps, she discovered something. What she found is not a way to make the pain go away, but a way to transform her feelings of loss into the yearning for something higher. ( )
  davidpwithun | Apr 7, 2012 |
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Traces the author's journey to Sicily with her three children after the sudden death of her husband, a pilgrimage of self-reflection marked by their tours of regional towns and ancient ruins.

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