Loss Adjustment by Linda Collins

 

The advance reading copy of Loss Adjustment was made available to the book elves a few weeks before it became the topic of conversation for every book reviewer out there. I remember picking it up while at work, reading a few pages and putting it back in the pile. I couldn’t get through it. When I finally picked it up again recently (and when I felt ready), I couldn’t put it down.

As someone who is no stranger to loss and grief, Linda Collins’s words hit close to home for me. Her heart wrenching account of her 17-year-old daughter’s suicide, gave voice to the whole gamut of emotions that I was (and still am) feeling, but have never been able to articulately express.

Raw, poignant and unflinchingly honest (even the parts that one would never dare say aloud, such as taking a hard look at some of Victoria’s flaws and allowing herself a moment to hate Victoria’s school mates for being alive), the book is equal parts an ode to the wonderful being who is Victoria, a meditation on the nature and complexities of grief and loss, and also a testimony to the kind of love that transcends and endures.

In writing this book, Linda did not just validate her experience, but those of countless others who have lost loved ones to suicide. In these pages and in our hearts, Victoria lives.

Grief can’t be cured, though it can be diverted, for a while. It is not an illness. Grief is an extension of love, and if you loved your child, you can’t stop loving them and therefore you can’t stop grieving. You can take drugs or go on drinking binges or throw yourself into your work, but the grief will lie there, waiting until there’s a gap, an opening and it will hit you and pummel you with insistent and conflicting messages...

by Dawn Tan

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