Greta Eichel’s Surviving Ellen is part autobiography, part memoir, part eulogy. With unflinching honesty, Eichel searches her own history for the seeds of her daughter Ellen’s suicide and for signs of life after Ellen’s death. With prose so free of artifice that it becomes a poetry of clarity, with images so sharp they often hurt, Eichel struggles with heart and conscience as she renders the ferocious pain of loss. Not an imitation, but life itself, this deeply moving, affective testimony reminds us how the dramatic and the ludicrous are inextricably tangled in the lives of ordinary people. Surviving Ellen unlocks the secrets of the heart.
Like its title, this book is about the the strength to survive, whatever it takes, whatever is necessary, however long it takes to move forward. Greta Eichel bears her suffering soul. Everyone interacts with famiilies. Every family has secrets. Sometimes, a high maintenance, self-destructive, low self-esteem chld is one of them. Parents who have children like this often move into denial to survive, calling the behavior a phase, teen trauma, and/or … more