Wednesday, September 23, 2020

21 Days: The Random Thoughts of a Brother in Mourning

21 Days: The Random Thoughts of a Brother in Mourning21 Days: The Random Thoughts of a Brother in Mourning by Donald Richard Dragovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A deeply personal account about death, faith and questioning God...

Mourning and grief are natural human responses to the death of a loved one. The onset of grief is from the moment an individual becomes aware of the death of a loved one. At this point they begin the process of grief, which has no set time, as grief affects everyone in different ways. The intensity of the feelings associated with grief depends on the circumstances of the loss, the closeness of the relationship and the conditioning of the person who has experienced the loss.

21 Days: The Random Thoughts of a Brother in Mourning by Donald R. Dragovich is literally the random thoughts of the author about death, faith, and God. The book description better explains: ‘21 Days is the chronological countdown to David’s death as described by his brother, Donald. His written thoughts document what was happening to his brother David as he quickly succumbed to esophageal cancer. Donald describes his emotional turmoil in dealing with his brother’s untimely and unstoppable death. He asks a powerful, rhetorical question that makes everyone ponder their mortality. What would you do if doctors told you, you or a loved one only have twenty-one days to live? How would you react? Donald reacted by questioning his faith in God and God’s power over cancer during this countdown.

Donald’s brother David was given twenty-one days to live on September 29, 2015. In dealing with the reality of his oldest brother’s death, Donald expressed his feelings by writing down what happened each day and how he felt. He describes how he cursed at God, questioned God’s divine intervention, and even God’s existence because no prayers were answered, no miracle cure and no death reprieve were in sight. Donald refers to the esophageal cancer that David had as an evil demon. He shows his anger and disgust with cancer and how it destroys not only a person but a family. He expresses his torment and anguish as he counts down the days, but in the end, ultimately embraces his spirituality.

When the inevitable became more and more real, Donald found his faith and accepted his brother’s fate. When Donald found his faith in God, it was a comforting, coping mechanism helping him deal with the inevitable death of his oldest brother. Donald describes other instances of spirituality that he has personally experienced and how he turns these tragic events into faith-renewing experiences.’

There is no set period for the process of mourning, which extends from the onset of grief to the time when the bereaved has come to terms with the loss and adjusted to the changes that occur in their lives as a result of the death. This period is different for everyone. Always a difficult subject to deal with, but I think the author did a great job that will help many people of faith who are in mourning. Highly recommended.

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