Once More We Saw Stars

Once More We Saw Stars

Book - 2019
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"Two-year-old Greta Greene was sitting with her grandmother on a park bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when a brick crumbled from a windowsill overhead, striking her unconscious. She is immediately rushed to the hospital. Once More We Saw Stars begins with this event, leading the reader into the unimaginable. But although it begins with the anguish Jayson and his wife Stacy confront in the wake of their daughter's trauma and the hours leading up to her death, it quickly becomes a narrative that is as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss. Jayson recognizes, even in the very midst of his ordeal, that there will be a life for him beyond it--that if only he can continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems un-survivable. With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, he captures both the fragility of life and absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love. This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation - and a book that will change the way you look at the world"--
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524733537
Branch Call Number: 155.93708 G833G 2019
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 22 cm


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May 10, 2020

Tragic story. Strong couple.

Jan 22, 2020

Those of us who have never experienced the kind of tragedy that befell Jayson and Stacy Greene simply can never understand it. We can empathize, we can sympathize but we cannot say we understand the depth of their loss nor the reality of being lost in that grief and unable to find our way out – or even wanting to find our way out.

I suspect 'Once More We Saw Stars' was written more as a catharsis than as message of hope. To those of us who have been blessed with no such tragedy, the book may seem self-indulgent and it deservedly is. But it's more a travelogue of their journey from loss and despair in to once more seeing the stars.

As I finished 'Once More We Saw Stars' last night right before bed, I felt oddly unmoved and I couldn’t figure out why. I thought about it early this morning long before rising and finally admitted that most of their journey through grief left me uncomfortable because it is beyond the reality and life I lead.

At least twice that I remember, the author specified that they have no religion. That is simply the antithesis of my life, where my Catholic faith is as intricately intertwined in me as the chromosomes that make me a woman and the genetics of my Italian heritage. They are the base, the support, the origins of who I am.

The Green's search for their daughter and the meaning of her lost life took them to situations that would never cross my mind. They looked for her in physical object: birds, leaves, purchased crystals, chakrahs, tattoos and on a mountain top with a “ceremonialist” named Jim who has them tie tobacco with strings, and then mutilated the body of the dead bird that happened to fly into the glass window of a room they were in and gave them the wings which they then took home and tied up to a stick and put on their shelf as a memorial to thier daughter. To ME that is simply not the answer to any desperation.

"Pick me," we plead silently. "Greta, we are here. Greta, come get Mommy and Daddy."

and later, another place, another search

"Will we find you here, baby girl?"

In thinking about all this early this morning I realized 'Once More We Saw Stars' left me unmoved because the author left me not believing that he has hope. I remembered a book I read long ago – I looked it up, it was in 1999 – that is equally sad but left me shining in hope, 'She Said Yes' by Misty Bernall, whose daughter Cassie was murdered at Columbine.

I wish that outcome for Jayson Green and his family, but I don’t think they will find it where they are looking.

I doubt I'll remember 'Once More We Saw Stars' twenty years from now.
And for that reason, 3 stars

Jan 07, 2020

For those who have never experienced the sudden unexpected loss of a child, Jayson Greene's words give a glimpse of what that unwanted reality is like. For those who have, you may find that he articulates your thoughts, experiences... I know I did. Beautifully written.

Oct 30, 2019

A tragic but amazing story about a family who's world changed by the unthinkable. Pulled at my heart strings and made me really think about how precious life is.

Oct 07, 2019

Heartbreaking yet hopeful.

Sep 24, 2019

Tragic, touching, and unfathomable. Excellent writing and a poetic account of grief. Tough due to its content but worth it.

ArapahoeKati Aug 12, 2019

Prepare yourself for ugly tears and beautiful moments.

Jul 11, 2019

In Once More We Saw Stars,Jayson Greene writes,
“Children who lose parents are orphans;bereaved spouses
are widows. But what do you call parents who lose children ?”
Greene shares the tragic loss of his two year old daughter with
readers in this terse and beautifully written work ..you can feel his tears
on so many pages, and rage on the others.
But there is very little blame in these chapters; Instead,Greene opens his heart
Revealing both his bravery and vulnerability.
Near the end of this book, you feel and hope Greene will be okay.
And while comparisons are horribly wrong, thoughts return to another parent
(Sonali Deraniyagala in the “Wave”) who suffered the unspeakable &accidental loss
Of her children but pushes through it all through writing.

Jul 07, 2019

Touching, moving, and uplifting. Highly recommended. Read it and be moved and changed.

Jul 01, 2019

Jayson Greene has a gift for words. His description of events and places brings you to the heart of what he is experiencing and feeling. His and Stacy's journey through this unspeakable tragedy is heart breaking and healing at the same time. How does one live through and accept and unbearable loss, one excruciating day at a time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful "little girl" with us.

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IndyPL_ShainaS Dec 07, 2019

We are a difficult, ungovernable species, forever staving off chaos with one hand and succumbing to it with the other. We aren’t here long enough to stop fighting death, to relax into our existence and gaze clearly. We thrash, mostly blindly, from one pole of oblivion to another. We are lucky if we truly notice three or five things in between. The rest is shouting, or being shouted at, or hiding underneath a blasted scrap from a raging storm.

IndyPL_ShainaS Dec 07, 2019

A pall of societal shame hovers over everyone in this club....Children who lose parents are orphans; bereaved spouses are widows. But what do you call parents who lose children? It seems telling to me there is no word in our language for our situation. It is unspeakable, and by extension, we are not supposed to exist.


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