Find Gregory St. Amand
Beth Harrison St. Amand
Beth Harrison St. Amand (2014)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (2/15)
There is no way that I could read and review “Find Gregory St. Amand” by Beth Harrison St. Amand and critique it in any way. This memoir is a mother’s story and the way she views her situation. Gregory St. Amand died by suicide and this brave story was written to help heal a mother’s wounded soul, find self-forgiveness, and hope that others would find comfort if they were in this situation or even help prevent another suicide from happening.
I knew from the start this would be an emotional read for me as I am a mother. I cannot image what the author went through. Her story covers the time frame of when her son went missing, engaging help for searches, and finally the realization of what happened to Gregory.
After her son’s death, St. Amand questioned her faith, and questioned herself; how could this happen to my son, and how did I not see it coming? Questions that often arise from family members that have been in this situation. Throughout the book, and on the cover, is artwork created by Gregory St. Amand. I thought that was a very loving tribute to Gregory.
When I first read St. Amand describe the cause of her son’s death as “death by suicide” I thought that was strange. I have always referred to the term “committing suicide” and now I have a very different perspective. Committing suicide is not actually a crime. It might be considered one in a religious aspect but it is not an actual crime. As the author goes in to more detail about her own reasoning for saying “death by suicide,” it made me rethink everything I have ever learned and considered when it came to that word. I cannot help but to believe that could have been one intention of the author. And if it was, it worked.
I agree with Mrs. St. Amand when she says society needs more resourses and needs to be willing to talk about the circumstances that would cause someone to kill themselves. We do not talk about this, and we do not teach our children to take this seriously. I have a four year old and just the other day he ran up to me and placed his head in my lap and said “I am just going to kill myself” and my heart dropped. He did not know what he was saying. He was only repeating something he heard me say jokingly and it tore my soul apart. We do not realize how impressionable we are upon our children and how important it is to talk to them about suicide. At four years old, it is not exactly the right time, but as he gets older, I will be talking to my son about these life events that he could possibly hear from one of his friends, in hopes that one day, it could possibly save another life.
In “Find Gregory St. Amand” the resources are invaluable, Beth Harrison St. Amand’s words are honest and heartfelt, and are a beautiful tribute to her son. This book needs to find its way in to many more hands. “Find Gregory St. Amand” could save a life or even comfort someone who has already lost a loved one. Five stars – Inspirational!