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Reviewed by Gary Stout for Readers' Favorite
Gone Too Soon by Jonathan T. Baer is the story of one man’s journey after the loss of a child. Baer is frank with sharing his emotions, heartache, and descent into depression that resulted from such a tragedy. Yet, the book is also a shining star in which the reader can find much hope and compassion. Baer never becomes mired in self-pity and only shares enough of his personal sadness to set the framework for dispensing his strategy for handling and overcoming the loss of a loved one. Gone Too Soon is uplifting in that his path helped him to cope, hold his memories dear, and be there for the rest of his family as they coped with the loss. As a gender, men rarely allow themselves to succumb to an outward release of emotions, and, probably rarer still, seek help from others outside the family. Baer struggles with these typical male attributes and succeeds. As I read the book, I felt Baer’s approach to sharing what worked for him was what a good friend might employ. He’s been there; he knows how it feels; he wants to help me grieve and enjoy the sunshine of my memories.
What seems obvious on paper is invisible while suffering the throes of anguish. Gone Too Soon is a must-read for anyone dealing with a loss, or, for that matter, anyone that knows someone dealing with such a loss. As friends, we seldom know what to say or how to approach the situation and often distance ourselves, much to the detriment of all involved. Baer has put into words what so many have felt, but not necessarily understood. Gone Too Soon is full of messages, all equally important, but one that can start a reader on the right path is – you’re not alone, others have gone through this. Although only one man’s personal advice that may not work for everyone, Gone Too Soon is an important starting point with thought-provoking insight. So many are gone too soon, so many hurt, so many become consumed with loss, so many can find value in Baer’s book. As a self-help book, Gone Too Soon is well written and has a permanent place on my bookshelf.