October Will Never Be the Same

Non-Fiction - Grief/Hardship
154 Pages
Reviewed on 09/09/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Nothing is more terrifying for a mother than losing her child. Kathleen's 39-year-old son, Chad, took his own life on October 14, 2014. Since that fateful day, Kathleen's life has drastically changed. She spent three horrifying years immersed in intense grief, anger, and guilt. Kathleen was already familiar with difficulties and hardships. She was married to a Vietnam veteran dealing with PTSD. The abusive marriage left her with many scars, and Kathleen found escape in writing and praying to God. In October Will Never Be the Same, Kathleen Janz-Anderson opens her heart and tries to understand what led her beloved son to his untimely death. Kathleen explains how to cope with grief, gives recommendations regarding grief groups, shares her experience with different therapists, and advises concerning medium interference. October Will Never Be the Same is a heartbreaking and inspirational account of grief and bravery for those who suffer the loss of a loved one and readers who want to understand what a grieving parent is going through.

Kathleen Janz-Anderson is a gifted poet; her writing style is lyrical and beautiful. Kathleen shares many amazing, emotional poems in October Will Never Be the Same. They help us understand her traumatic experience and deep pain. It's hard to imagine what courage and inner strength it took for Kathleen to share these deeply personal experiences. From this book, we learn how to support grieving parents who have lost their children. Kathleen describes the stages of grief in her deeply emotional diary entries. She graciously admits that her reactions to triggers, which bring traumatic memories back, could be disturbing for people around her. Her kindness and wisdom are overwhelming. I appreciated Kathleen's thoughts about God, His will, and the power of prayer. She explains with simple words the essence of humans' free will and our relationship with God. October Will Never Be the Same leaves a lasting impression and helps heal even the deepest wounds of those enduring pain, loss, and grief.

Edith Wairimu

In her moving, brave work, October Will Never Be the Same, Kathleen Janz-Anderson retraces her son’s last steps, exploring possible reasons that could have led him to take his life while discussing her deep grief following his death. On October 14, 2014, Anderson’s life was forever changed when she learned about her son’s death. Chad was a loving and lively man who tried to help those in his life, but the weight of carrying others’ burdens, plus the impact of the trauma he suffered, became too much to bear. Anderson opens up about her continuous struggle to face her unimaginable loss and her battle with guilt. She explains how her faith and journaling her thoughts helped her find ways to live through her immeasurable grief.

The book explores an important topic with honesty and tenderness. Through palpable descriptions, Anderson explains the depth of the grief she experienced and offers helpful ways for coping with the pain of losing a loved one through suicide. Family members and parents who have faced similar situations will be able to relate to Anderson’s feelings and find hope in her story. I appreciated the important advice on warning signs of suicide and how to move forward after loss. The work is also a beautiful tribute to Chad, including his impact on his family and friends. October Will Never Be the Same by Kathleen Janz-Anderson is a hopeful and insightful work that includes essential themes about the effects of trauma, suicide, loss, and grief. It is powerful, well-written, and enlightening.

Essien Asian

Losing a loved one to the cold hands of death is a very painful experience, more so when you see the warning signs but choose to hope against all odds that the situation surrounding that loved one will improve. For Kathleen Janz-Anderson, it was the loss of her son, Chad. She knew there were problems with her son’s personal life, and as much as she wanted to intervene, she held back, believing all would be well. When she received the news of his suicide, her world imploded. She struggled to accept her loss, sometimes contemplating following the same path. Her road to recovery involved documenting her experiences. October Will Never Be the Same is that book.

You can feel the pain seeping through the pages of Kathleen Janz-Anderson’s book. She expresses herself clearly, describing the different emotions she experienced while coming to terms with her tragedy. It is almost impossible not to shed a tear when reading. She is analytic in her presentation as she outlines the symptoms that created the ticking time bomb she could not defuse. What is most touching about this book is how she owns up to her portion of the blame for what happened to Chad. She talks about incidents that grieving parents are familiar with, but even better than that, she talks about the methods she used to break out of the grieving cycle. These methods may not be orthodox but will go a long way toward helping others in a similar situation. Dealing with death and its aftermath is never easy, but with October Will Never Be the Same, Kathleen lets others know they are not walking alone.