Laurent, Pauline
Grief Denied : A Vietnam Widow's Story

“Grief Denied” is a competently written book by a Vietnam widow, Pauline Laurent, who for many years lived a life defined by her husband’s death.  In telling her story, she provides support as well as a roadmap on how to remake herself as woman whose life did not end with her husband’s.  Forming a life around death does not ultimately sustain the will to live.

A young widow, expecting her first child, Laurent did not know how to grieve.  Everyone told her to be strong and, implicitly, to get over it.  She had nightmares and persistent thoughts that her Howard wasn’t in the coffin they weren’t allowed to open.  Instead of the thanks of a grateful nation, she received a silence that evoked a sense of shame.  Laurent coped by developing a stoicism and anger that kept her husband’s death unfinished business.

The effort cost her.  One chapter is titled “The Lost Years.”   The book is very detailed on how she recognized things weren’t right with her and her efforts to change that. She says:  “It seems as if the experiences that we, the survivors of that war, have tried to forget, deny, and ignore are now knocking on the door of our unconsciousness, asking to be remembered and finally dealt with so that we can truly move forward with our lives.”  That she has done with this memoir.

Not forgotten in her book is the importance for a child to grieve, maybe especially for a posthumous child as all the father represents is loss.  I particularly recommend it, not just to widows, but to anyone who had a family member killed in Vietnam. [paperback]

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My Vietnam Related Websites:
button Women in Vietnam ~ Read about ALL the women who served . . .
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam
button Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet

button Emily's Poetry ~ By a Red Cross Donut Dolly
button All About Vietnam    ~ An annotated bibliography of books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!
button Photos from a Holts' Military History Tour ~ My trip to Vietnam, February 1998

My Other Websites:
Maybe Later . . . ~ My Creative Nonfiction
Irish in Korea ~ Irish men and women who gave their lives in the Korean War
Literature of the Korean War ~ Don't let the literature be forgotten
Samuel Pepys ~ One of my favorite authors
Chicago Theatre Z - A ~ This is the best theater town in the country!
Soccer Literature ~ I'm a fan and I read
O'Leary Lantern ~ Fire! Fire! Fire!
Gil Thorp ~ THE Coach (apologies to The General!)
Poetry of the First World War ~ Owen, Hardy and others
Chi-COW-go ~ Cowz plus Commentary (this used to be a cow town)
Graham Fulton, Scottish Poet ~ Charles Manson Auditions for the Monkees

Other Important Websites:
The Truth About Caroline ~ a  really good Young Adult book by my niece, Stacey
M. Lane Grosh
Remember Oklahoma City ~  The
Civil Service and Military will NEVER forget!

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Page last updated July 18, 2007

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