My Mourning Year – Andrew Marshall

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Published: 6th April 2017 (Red Door)41aj7W06TBL

In 1997 Andrew Marshall’s partner, and the only person to whom he had ever truly opened his heart, died after a gruelling and debilitating illness. Unmoored from his old life, and feeling let down by his family, Andrew struggled not only to make sense of his loss but to even imagine what a future without Thom might look like.

His diary became a record of recovery and setbacks – like a rebound relationship – some weird and wonderful encounters with psychics and gurus and how his job as a journalist gave him the chance to talk about death with a range of famous people, a forensic anthropologist and a holocaust survivor.

Slowly but surely, with the help of friends, a badly behaved dog and a renewed relationship with his parents, Andrew began to navigate the Thom-shaped hole in his life, and started to piece himself back together.

My Mourning Year is a frank and unflinching account of one man’s life over the year following the death of his lover.

My Review

My Mourning Year is a frank and unflinching account of one man’s life over the year following the death of his lover.

My Mourning Year opens up by giving a brief history of Andrew and Thom’s relationship from when they met in Spain in 1989 to Thom’s death in 1997 however the focus of this book is how Andrew copes the 12 months after Thom’s death – from organising a funeral in a foreign country, the support he receives from Thom’s family and friends in Germany, strained relationships with his own family and into learning to have a new ‘normal’ after Thom.

I can see how Marshall’s friends found this useful to read when going though difficult times themselves as it is raw and honest – from both the selfish depths of despair to being able to let people in and move forward. At points this is difficult to read but grief is difficult, Marshall opens up the reader’s eyes to the realism of losing the love of your life. Marshall goes into both the emotional and practical elements of grief, becoming attached to things which are actually no replacement for the person who has gone. I’m sure most people will relate to elements covered in the book – this is bordering on a self-help book but with an interesting perspective; it isn’t patronising by telling the reader how to deal with their grief – instead Marshall is sharing how he worked through his during the 1st year of loss to help others work through theirs, whilst recognising it is something you never get over and will be with you, in some sense, forever.

I commend Marshall’s bravery and selflessness in sharing his memoir with the world in order to help others.

About the Author

AuthorAndrew G. Marshall is the UK’s best-known marital therapist and writer on relationships. He regularly writes for The Mail on Sunday, Psychologies and magazines around the world. He has also appeared on programmes such as the Lorraine Kelly Today and the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2. The Guardian has described his work as ‘wonderfully comforting’ and ‘I feel light headed and giggly as if someone has just made sense of me’ and the Evening Standard as ‘insightful’. As well as books, Andrew runs regular workshops and is a much sort after speaker. There is more information at http://www.andrewgmarshall.com

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