A good story teller is quick to create an environment that allows the listener to slip into the characters and events and find those 'Aha!" moments for themselves ... leading the listener into the story where they sit back and say, "Oh yes, this is my story too!" and moving the reader's thoughts and emotions into, "I have been here in my own journey." Ms. Swanson is a great storyteller.
I entered into her story from a chaplain's point of view and I came away knowing that there is "More than can be Measured."
In the mid 80's, my ex-boss asked me to be a part time contract chaplain at the US Army Hospital. At that time he was the post chaplain, and I was a struggling student, trying to raise a family, and attempting to manage an inner-city ministry. The extra "work" was welcomed.
Without a whole lot of training he set me down and gave me the two mandates of a military chaplain: to help the troops live well, and if needed, to help them die well. To say the least, I certainly felt inadequate, and Jerry's way of training was to toss you in, let you sink or swim, and be there when needed. He told me, "Dan, just go and listen. Sit and listen. Empathy and compassion is the most important part of chaplain-ing ... and as a rule, "Airborne!" And that was it - that was Jerry's way (okay, there's more to it, he had mentored me for the year we were together in the Army).
Now, through the many years of "chaplaining" for the VFW, I am always on the lookout for good resource material. Something I can pass along to someone that would speak where I cannot. My life has been pretty dull and steady, and I never feel comfortable saying, "I know what you are going through" because I usually really don't. And that is why I grab onto books like Ms. Swanson's. Here is someone who has "been through it" and knows just the right words to help others identify and process into a place of healing and wholeness.
With that said, I enthusiastically and unreservedly recommend this book to anyone who has personally experienced a shattering loss of their own, or knows someone who has. This book is such an engaging and vulnerable story. My bet is you'll walk away, knowing you are not alone, and feeling as if you've gained two or three new helpful friends along the way.