“When she was 22 years old and pregnant, Pauline Laurent was informed that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War. In this direct and powerful memoir, she relates how the grief she suppressed for more than 20 years surfaced in the months leading up to her daughter’s wedding, finally pushing her to explore her Grief Denied: A Vietnam Widow’s Story, and to rekindle her faith in the simple power of joy and the possibility of happiness. “
“Grief Denied tells the riveting story of how Pauline Laurent came out from under the suffocating weight of her own awful silence to find personal expression and a sense of liberation. If somehow or other you never did appreciate how Vietnam got to the heart of America, then this book ought to be at the top of your list of books to read. And if you are thinking of writing a memoir to express your seemingly inexpressible pain, then this book is also for you.”
The Press Democrat
(For a copy of the full review, click here.)
“In a very moving and healing book, Pauline Laurent takes us into the heart of the trauma of losing a loved one in war. Part of the immediate value of this book to other survivors is that she talks about the tools she used to heal herself which included writing, therapy, recovering from an addiction, creating healing rituals, and sitting with painful feelings in a safe setting.
“She demonstrates how to live with, feel and grow through the pain. She also shows how she gradually reached out and found a community of support among Vietnam veterans and Sons and Daughters In Touch (for the children of people killed in Vietnam). Here’s how she describes a workshop she attended:
“‘Eugene Cash began the day with a poem about a son who had died in the war. I was crying immediately. By the end of the day, I realized the completion of my grief was not really the issue. In grieving, I had opened my heart and with an open heart, I was feeling more than I had ever felt before. Almost everything moved me to tears. I watched others cry that day and realized I had a new relationship with grief. It didn’t scare me anymore. I could witness it without wanting to run.’
“Now that’s recovery! Grief Denied is an extraordinary and powerful book. I hope you will all read it!”
–Patience Mason, Author of Recovering from the War;
The Post-Traumatic Gazette
“I was so touched by reading Pauline’s book, that I cried like a baby for the first time since I returned from Vietnam. I was there myself and knew many men, such as Pauline’s husband. I never realized how much grief and stress that those left behind had suffered. Pauline is an example of someone who has head to learn how to cope and deal with the death of her husband, without any road maps. She lead with her heart and let her emotions take her to places she had never visited before. She allows us to take that journey of her spirit, through the pages of this wonderfully, well-written book. I could not put this book down once I began – not until I reached and read the final word on the last page. I highly recommend buying and reading this book. It will move you in ways you never thought possible.
–Rev. Bill McDonald