Traveling On into the Light by Martha Brooks.
Orchard Books: NY, 1994.

This a collection of 11 short stories, all regarding personal losses. In facing the grief, all rely on the support of friends, family and lovers as a safe harbor and to begin the healing process.

The last 3 stories are connected, the same family in each. The first of those is from the viewpoint of the male in a teen relationship. Both of the characters have lost a parent. They struggle together against the grief. The girl's loss was less recent, however, and the boy, after a couple years, is still trying to cope. In the second, he breaks their relationship, so as to not injure her. This is in turn a loss she must bear. The third story happens the day of her older sister's wedding. The family is reminded of the loss of her mother as the sister prepares for her new life. These 3 are 3 of the best in the collection. Deeply moving, original material, with pain mixed with the family's love and progress towards healing, knowing the pain isn't going to go away.

Other stories deal with the loss of a best buddy to another crowd, a divorced parent who moves away from his beloved daughter (from the daughter's perspective), a boy trying to resolve his emotions and obsession regarding his father's long-ago-suicide, a boy rejected by his mother in favor of her partner, and a young woman who feels like she has lost herself through responsibility and commitment.

The stories here are very sad. For those interested in sob stories, they have much to offer, perhaps a different way of thinking.

related-loss, friendship, supportive behavior, times of crisis, short stories, Canadian authors

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