Bereavement. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How do you go forward and continue on with life? Simply put, it will be different for each person. In Losing Charlotte, Heather Clay makes an admirable attempt to portray the answers to these questions with her main characters, Bruce and Knox.
When new mother Charlotte passes away suddenly right after the birth of her twins, her husband, Bruce, and sister, Knox, are left behind, trying to pick up the pieces and move forward for the sake of the newborn babies. The grief and the coping mechanisms each use look different, feel different. Knox looks back and idealizes growing up with Charlotte. Bruce, goes numb, barely functioning with the schedule he set for the twins and cloistering himself away from life. But yet, life goes forward and each of the characters grows from the tragedy, learning something about themselves, Charlotte and each other along the way.
This book looks at how adults cope with the sudden, tragic loss of a loved one and the stages gone through until each can come out the other side better, stronger and capable of carrying on. Heather Clay does a great job showcasing the numbness that seems to be required to carry on with life after a great loss, although at times the book seems to be a bit weighed down by it and is slow to move forward.
Any book about bereavement is a tough sell, let alone tough to write. Portraying maternal death is even tougher. Due to the subject matter, I sometimes found this book tough to connect with. I give props to Ms. Clay for her willingness to tackle such a tough situation.