Loss of those we love is our most painful reality. In Christopher Buckley's newest book, Losing Mum and Pup, we come to journey with him in the aftermath of both his parents dying within less than 11 months of one another. We come to understand, more deeply, the forever ache of that loss.

The author speaks of his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, a beautiful and glamorous New York socialite who was very much her own woman even while surrendering to care for duties on one of their sail boats muttering, "I was made for better things." What woman alive could not identify! I laughed and said "Amen" out loud.

The author and only child of Patricia and William writes more of his father, William F. Buckley, Jr., an intensely interesting and intellectual man who had always captured my interest with his facility for words. As reader I was engaged by Christopher Buckley's personal exploration to understand the complexities of his father, himself and the father and son dynamic as well. This is a brave undertaking for all of us, to delve within, but particularly so for a prominent author.

Fathers and sons will thrill to read of William and Christopher's sailing adventures. His father, a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, took chances in the sea and on the land and it makes for extremely enjoyable reading. Of risk taking, for which his father receives an A plus, author Christopher writes, "Great men are not dawdlers. Their idle is set too high. They're built for speed. I myself was built to lie on the sand and drink beer and be fanned by island girls." This is psychology and wit at its best. Indeed, the fun, the adventure, and the friendship every son desires with his father is found on the pages of Losing Mum and Pup just as it was lived out on their sailing vessels.

This reader was left particularly touched with the bottom line feeling this book delivered with sentiments such as, "And now I think I'd give almost anything for just one more sail together, even in a howling northeaster." It was bitter-sweet, beautiful and masculine writing.

I lost a cherished father, a faith-filled mother, a beloved and precious daughter, and a sweet and funny sister. I've been there. Actually, I am still there, for we never really let them go - nor should we.

Mary Jane Hurley Brant
When Every Day Matters: A Mother's Memoir
On Love, Loss and Life
Simple Abundance Press, Oct. 1, 2008

Author's Bio: 

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP is a grief specialist who writes for several internet sites as an expert on grief. Her book, When Every Day Matters: A Mother’s Memoir on Love, Loss and Life was published October 1, 2008, by Simple Abundance Press. Foreign rights (English language) are with St. Pauls's in Mumbai, India.

MJ has a private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA. Visit her site WhenEveryDayMatters.com