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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
Losing a child is the greatest tragedy for a parent. While many cannot express their pain, others find solace in telling their experience. This is the case of author Lynn Jaffee, who in Love Pain: Stories of Loss and Survival narrates the sad story of the long illness of her son, Andrew. Of course, suffering is the prevailing emotion of the book, but it is not the only one. Love Pain is not just a story about sorrow, but also about gratitude and other feelings that can bring relief to those who have lived through an experience like those of Jaffee and her family.
Love Pain is a book that I read with deep sympathy. When a parent finds the strength to narrate such a tragic event, she is entitled to our undivided attention. Although the story of Jaffee and her son is tragic (from the beginning, the reader knows that Andrew will lose his battle against cancer), what I found most valuable was the emphasis on the feeling of gratitude. Gratitude refers to the little things that were done for the family, and to the people who, in one way or another, were generous to the author's family during their most difficult times. This is an emotion that Love Pain teaches us to cultivate and appreciate, and we should definitely manifest it more often in our lives. Overall, Love Pain is a book that can help us deal with difficult situations. It also seems to me that the author really found consolation in writing it. I hope that with her example, Lynn Jaffee inspires other people to seek comfort after a loss.