Do You Realize?
A Story of Love and Grief and the Colours of Existence
An intimate and controversial account of a psychotherapist's descent into grief and a kind of madness following the unexpected death of a patient.
The other day, as I came out from the station, I caught a glimpse of dark hair and for a second, I thought it was you, Mina. So begins this searingly honest account, written by a psychotherapist, who returns from her summer vacation to discover that one of her patients has died unexpectedly: a young woman, with whom she had felt a particularly close connection. That day she carries on as normal, sees all her patients, only to wake in the middle of the night, sweating and shaking in the dark, and with the strangest sensation of falling. A rapid freefall ensues, a spiralling descent into grief and a kind of madness, as present and past collide and she begins to confront what she has always feared. A compelling narrative centred on death and love and loss, Do You Realize? raises profound and penetrating questions: What is grief? For who and what do we grieve when we lose somebody? and How do we live life fully and passionately, and yet, face up to death?
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
A deeply honest and heartfelt story of grief and unresolved loss – both in relation to her patients and to her own experience, touching on her own ‘miraculous’ existence and how she was affected by the death of a patient she felt very close to.
A refreshing and thought-provoking read. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to those working in palliative care. This book will help them to reflect on the relationships they form with their patients, and the impact these relationships can have.
~ Jenny Smith, European Journal of Palliative Care
From the moment I picked up this book, I found it hard to put down. A powerful and beautifully crafted piece of writing. A profound and thought-provoking book which asks essential questions about life and death, love, loss and grief, disconnection and reconnections, all fundamental questions for therapists, supervisors adn all those searching for meaning in life and death. It is a book to which I shall return time and time again. ~ Judy Bayley, CPC Review (Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Primary Care)
- A thought-provoking book: the fascination of its themes, and the delicacy of their handling, will stay with me for a long time. ~ Hilary Mantel, Author of Wolf Hall, Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize
- A beautiful, poetic meditation on loss and grief, Marion Steel's book is both an exploration and a reflection of the mourning process. Going beyond the constraints of the usual academic studies, it is a moving, inspiring and thought-provoking work. ~ Darian Leader, Author of The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression and Why Do People Get Ill?
- If pleasure and anguish are past, if we lose our desire which both enraptures and torments us, what is left? Life or death? This is the central question that Marion Steel explores in this searching, subtle and necessarily ambiguous book, in which the deeper meaning of that old saying â€“ amor vincit omnia â€“ is brought to light and, with it, the strength that allows the grieving to accept, and to renew, not only the life of the self, but that greater life that transcends individual pleasures and torments. ~ John Burnside, Author of Glister and A Lie About My Father