Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library

The Gift Wrapped in Sorrow

A Mother's Quest for Healing

Jane Guttman, D.C.

Foreword by Reuben Pannor M.S.W.

Gifts come, even in the midst of great anguish.
I am grateful for these gifts,
Although they are wrapped in sorrow...

Jane Guttman tells her story in the style of a personal journal or memoire-a couple of pages for each day or event, often no more. The story is interspersed with images of the desert that Jane loves, which brings a sense of reflection and some distance to the story. One builds a flavour of her days during the year in which she found her son, exchanged some information and photographs with him, and finally came to understand that he did not want a relationship with her. The gift of knowing what had happened to her child was wrapped in the sorrow of his rejection of her.

This book follows the course of events as they happened, and the reader assumes, with Jane, that at any time things will change; the story will advance, and a reunion will occur. Jane is aided by her son's adoptive brother, who gives her information about her son and acts as an intermediary. However, when

Jane finally phones her son she has a short conversation with him, and then is asked through this brother to break off contact completely. The loss of even this thread of contact is hard to read. Any mother who has lost her child to adoption knows this fear of being rejected, and of having no place in her child's life.

Jane describes also the effect this loss has on her again. She weaves into this part of the story her understandings of holistic health and healing, as well as her need for conventional medicine when she became seriously ill.

This book is hard to read because we all fear rejection when we search for lost family members. It is a valuable book for it describes the journey that some face-the journey that doesn't end in the joy of reunion. Jane's faith in the meaning of things and her ability to heal herself even in the face of this great sorrow are uplifting.

Reviewer: Sandra Falconer Pace

JMJ Publishing, 1999
ISBN 0-9672861-0-7
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