"The passing of time is silent, as it carries your face, your smile."

A grieving mother recalls the time spent with her son and the shock and sorrow of his sudden death in this tender blend of poetry and prose. Wells-Smith recalls the day her only child—Grant, aged 26—comes to visit, complaining of a spider bite that seems to be producing unusual symptoms, such as exhaustion, fever, and bloating. He passes away not long after this, and it is she who discovers her cherished son in his bed, no longer breathing. Through her anguish, she maintains her securely embedded Christian faith. She and others who knew him share remarkable visions and memories. Releasing Grant's ashes in a creek, she prays to find a heart-shaped rock. One appears at her feet, evoking a memory of a special photo of her with Grant as a child, their faces touching in a heart-shaped pose. Her poems express not only her distress but also her hopes and spiritual vision.

Wells-Smith is an award-winning writer who advocates for people in need. This sincere offering shows her skills as a wordsmith who can tell a cohesive story while evoking profound feelings. She has included vignettes not only of her time with and loss of her child but also of smaller, touching events—ascending a mountain, glorying in the changing seasons—that have come to mind in the exploration of her grief. She makes it plain that such loss can include the comfort and comradeship of friends and family but is simultaneously a painful, personal path to be walked alone. Her memoir is a compact, carry-with book that can give solace to anyone coping with the heavy sensations and contemplative afterthoughts of grief.

Return to USR Home