Fatherless Sons: Healing the Legacy of Loss

Jonathan Diamond, Author
Jonathan Diamond, Author . Wiley $24.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-471-21969-9
Reviewed on: 05/22/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-470-30606-2
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 272 pages - 978-0-471-78252-0
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Diamond's father, whose lectures at Princeton were noted for their humor, was also a batterer who abused his wives and children. Psychotherapist Diamond's moving account of his relationship with his father is a nuanced exploration of mourning and its aftermath. The author also discusses the role his mother played, despite her lifelong alcoholism, in protecting him from his father's episodic, mercurial rage. The author's father contacted and attended meetings of a batterer's program shortly before he died, which permitted Diamond to feel compassion and love for his parent. His childhood experiences have made Diamond constantly aware of how he expresses anger toward his own young sons. Interwoven with stories about his father are the experiences of other men, drawn from the author's practice, that illuminate a son's trauma when he is faced with the death of a male parent. One man, who at the age of 15 discovered his father hanging from a beam in the basement, deals 25 years later with the fact that his father, beloved by family and neighbors, was often depressed. For Diamond, his father left one positive legacy, a physically demonstrative nature. Diamond recommends physical affection between father and son, saying "[h]ugging is one of the best ways... to introduce hope into a strained or broken relationship...." (Aug.)

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