The Last Violet
The Last Violet
The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother
Author Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad
Published by Mulberry Hill Press
The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother is not an easy book to read emotionally...even as the words beckon you to keep reading, you want to hold back. But it's not just reading of Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad's grief and her mother's cancer that makes it a tough read, it's the way the book forces the reader to examine their own life, their own regrets and their own mortality that makes it difficult.
The author's poetry which she shares throughout the book speaks from her heart and in turn reaches out to ours. Don't get me wrong, you SHOULD read The Last Violet. It's not just a book about mothers and daughters. I gained some very important insight into how a husband and father deals with illness, denial and then grief. The author also helps us understand the entire family dynamic during rough times. She makes an observation that possibly some families come together during a crisis but she finds this instead to be true:
"But in my life, crisis puts everyone on edge and exacerbates the difficulties. It crystallizes existing problems". I do not think her family is an exception. I have been to many funerals, dealt with grief in my own family and have heard the harsh remarks and seen the fights over unrelated incidents. After reading The Last Violet though, I have a better understanding of why these things happen and how to deal with them. We may never be prepared for loss but it's invaluable to have authors like Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad, who can help us sort through the feelings during an emotional and traumatic situation.