Leaving The Hall Light On by Madeline Sharples
Published by Dream of Things
Publication Date: July 13, 2012
Review Copy from: Dream Of Things
My Rating: 4
Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss: first and foremost how author Madeline Sharples chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. It is about the steps Sharples took in living with the loss of her son, including making use of diversions to help ease her grief and the milestones she met toward living a full life without him. She says, “to let ourselves grieve is to feel the depth of our love. For those whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.”
My Thoughts and Opinion:
Over the past year or so, I have stepped out of my comfort zone, and started reading memoirs. And honestly, the ones that I have read have had a lasting impact on me.
The author shares, very candidly, her journey as, a wife and mother, coping with a son who was diagnosed with a Bipolar Disorder and then his suicide. Her pain and recovery. This book was a bit of a hard read for me because of some of the parallels in the story. A thought provoking read on many levels and for varied reasons.
One of the similarities was I am a parent of 2 sons, 2 1/2 years apart and the oldest named Paul, the same as the author. While reading of her struggle with her son Paul, I found myself asking, “what if it was my Paul? Another thing I could relate to was the Bipolar Disorder, because of my background in nursing, I am familiar with the struggles of those diagnosed with the disease, the patterns they have and the signs and symptoms.
Ms. Sharples shares her painful experience of living through her son’s periods of mania and depression. Her raw emotions are palpable. Then the worst nightmare that every parent fears, burying one’s child. And even worse, not knowing the whys. Does any parent have closure? No such thing. How does one go on? I can’t even imagine, having to go through something like this. She frankly and honestly describes her emotions of love, anger, worry, depression, hope, guilt, and even at times, selfishness. How she used writing poetry, which are also in the book, as a coping mechanism. And the decision to write this, which had to be very painful, memoir. As a parent, it was a heart wrenching read. But it was also a read of survival and recovery. It’s then that the hall light goes off.
A powerful and poignant read!!