Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Mother's Journey of Love, Loss & Life Beyond - A REVIEW

A Mother’s Journey of Love, Loss & Life Beyond,Jennifer Scalise tells the harrowing story and her fight for survival after the tragic death of her daughter.  

The 411 by Maria:
Wow..where do I start? 
First, let's start with this; since reading this book, I have thought of Jennifer, Brooke and the rest of the family every day.  While I believe some of it is because I am a mom and Jennifer has gone through the most horrific, heart wrenching days a mother could ever suffer through.
Losing one of my children is something I have thought about more than I can ever admit to. Maybe this is because I lost my mom when I was 12 and death is something I know will happen. But, I always knew in my heart that I would never survive if something, God forbid ever happened to them.

Reading Jennifer's story and seeing her strength; and I am sure there are days she feels as if she has none; but she is one of the strongest woman I have ever read about. 

What happened to Brooke is devastating and when I explain the book to my friends they all say the same thing. "That sounds so sad! I don't think I want to read it. It sounds like a real tear jerker."  That is until I tell them Jennifer's story, Brooke's story. The story that is still unfolding and will until they meet again! As someone who cries at the drop of a hat. I can tell you that yes, there is a moment I cried. I literally sobbed into my hands and wished I could change everything. Wished I could make the Scalise story different. My heart hurt for Jennifer who had to leave her family vacation minus one child! The thought literally makes my throat close up and seizes my heart. 

Why the book is a must read:

1) Jennifer writes as if she is writing to a dear friend. I felt like I was reading her scrapbook, journal, personal diary.  I became part of the family  as I read. I was there.  This book, is like nothing I have ever read before. Maybe it has been done before, but in my eyes, this is HOW a non-fiction book should be written. The reader is transported to the time and place with detailed descriptions, letters, Brooke's journal pages, pictures, even mobile tag readers that allow you to not only read and visualize in your minds eye but to literally see what Jennifer is talking about.  The hardest video and I think one that will stay with me forever is the moment Jennifer & George got down the mountain to where Brooke is. She longs to  hold her daughter. She is not allowed to go to her.  The depth of the grief is horrendous. It is real! It is not fiction. This happened to her and she is brave enough to share it with all of us because bad things happen and even while on a family vacation with your family, life can change. 

2) If you have ever lost someone. This book is an inspiration. We all go through bereavement differently and Jennifer's journey taught/reminded me a lot of what I already knew. That the people we love never leave us.  If you look for the signs, they are all around us. Brooke lets her family know she is with them constantly. She feels their love and shows them love through various ways. You will be amazed at how attached they still are. 

3) God is love, Love is God! And We are love. Love is on every page of this book. As someone who is not overly religious and more spiritual, my eyes were opened in so many ways to how unafraid we should be of death. I remember my daddy telling me at my grandmother's funeral in 1991 that we are crying for ourselves. We are not crying for her. We are crying because she is no longer with us but that is very selfish. She is in a better place. She is where she is supposed to be. She is home!"  I believe that not Brooke is still with the Scalise family and that they will all be together one day and it will be as if no time has passed.

4) Jennifer is trying to raise awareness of the dangers of ATVs for children. Something I have been concerned with for years. I get crazy when I see the kids on my street going up and down the street on their ATVs and when I see pictures of kids my kids age sitting on ATVs on my friend's Facebook pages. I have a fear! These are big vehicles and children do not know how to handle them if something was to go wrong. If you are interested in learning more, please visit Concerned Families for ATV Safety.

I could go on and on for the reasons you should read this but the main reason is you should read this. Brooke's death should not be in vain. You will feel inspired and a renewed sense of spirituality as you go through the process with Jennifer.

Also, I would like to thank Jennifer for her braveness and candidness in telling us about Brooke. I truly love Brooke and so will  you.

Update: 2 people have purchased the book since talking to me this week. They can't wait to get started. 


  1. Jennifer Scalise11:16 PM

    Maria, thank you for understanding the many messages I shared from my journey and helping encourage others to read my story -despite their fears of facing the sadness. I want to reassure you and your readers I am in a wonderful place. Peace and love unlike anything I experienced before fills my soul. Once you know for certain your loved one is beside you even after death, your faith gives you tremendous strength. I feel proud for what Brooke and I are accomplishing together- the people we are helping, the lives we are touching. She isn't next to me physically but we are united spiritually and the love that bonds us is the most amazing feeling ever. I just wish I could help every person struggling with grief find this peace. With heartfelt appreciation, Jennifer Scalise

  2. I haven't even read the book (yet) and my heart is breaking for Jennifer and her family, but at the same time, I am inspired by her strength. Some families in my neighborhood ride their small children, I'm talking one or two years old here, down the road on ATVs and it terrifies me to think about something going wrong during one of those "fun" rides. God bless Brooke's family.


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