Even today, discussing topics like grief and living with loss is a complex topic to write about, let alone discuss. However, Steve Brown is one writer who believes this needs to change and has published a book that can help people avoid his mistakes when he faced a sudden, tragic loss in his own family.
We talked with Steve and his daughter Mary Cate tonight about what brought about his book There Will Be Brighter Days. What was the biggest hurdle they faced during their grief, and what can people and society do better?
The Start of the End
It all started with a day that was happy and uneventful. The family had just spent some wonderful time together and were preparing for when the kids would get back to school. Around the one A.M., Steve heard a noise and found his wife unconscious on the bathroom floor. He called 911 and started CPR immediately; his kids woke up frightened after learning what happened.
His wife was declared dead within two hours, and 18 years of a happy marriage had ended in one shocking, fatal moment. Steve now found himself a single parent with four kids, entirely unprepared for everything.
The Start of the Book
The sheer lack of preparation Steve suffered is what prompted him to write the book. Even though he admits he is not a professional counselor or psychologist, Steve created a list of what he should have done and what others could do to better prepare themselves for similar tragedies and ways to cope with grief when something happens.. The book also gives tips on how to interact with those grieving a loss.
He did not hesitate to admit his anger at himself for not knowing the things he knows now. Commercials and TV ads often talk about life insurance and getting estates in order, but there’s not much for preparing survivors for unexpected loss.
And thus, the core ideas of the book began to take shape. More than just a story of their tragedy, There Will Be Better Days is also filled with a highly informative list of tips, strategies, and action plans to help prepare anyone. It runs through the basics of working with an estate attorney and the preparations’ simplicity.
Through His Daughter’s Eyes
A section of the book is written by Steve’s daughter Mary Cate. Mary Cate is the second oldest child, and her segment Through A Child’s Eyes gives an honest and emotional account of how the grief process was so challenging for her and her family.
Words still don’t quite describe the experience that changed her life forever. Still, the most enduring memory she’s had after the incident was how many people did not know how to approach her for her sudden loss.
At the same time, there were a lot of assumptions about how she was supposed to feel and what not to feel. The experience taught her that people process grief very differently, and that accepting and dealing with one’s emotions during an immense loss is okay to feel that way
Thriving in Better Days
It has been several years since Steve lost his wife, and he is proud to say his family is managing to thrive despite his lack of preparedness and their struggles with their loss. Among many other big lessons, Steve also learned to accept help from others as part of the healing process.
Both he and Mary Cate share the same hope that the book, in turn, will help society significantly better approach others undergoing the same loss they’ve had.
You can check out the full interview over at our YouTube Channel. There Will Be Better Days is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.