Half a Life by Darin Strauss
Have you ever had an experience that literally cuts your life in two? For me it was my mother’s death. After October 4, 1978, my life would forever be defined as those years “before my mother died” and those years after.
For the author of Half of Life, the moment that tore the curtain was a car accident in which he struck and killed a bicyclist. Making an already awful situation worse was the fact that he was a teenager and she was in his high school class.
What follows is a memoir of his attempts to deny, repress, overcome and finally accept what had happened and how it shaped everything that came afterward. To do this, he had to seek the forgiveness not only of the people who were part of his past but also the people he met later in life. The ones who didn’t know. But who must find out from him in order to develop a true relationship. Ultimately, the one he had to seek forgiveness from most was himself.
As with most great transformations in life, there was no “burning bush” – no lightning strike after which he was healed. His change was gradual; his acceptance happened only after much time and angst. The suddenness of unimaginable hurt was followed by the agonizing healing of time. That is the human experience, at least as I have seen it played out so many times in my life and in the lives of my friends. That is what makes this book especially appealing. It is everyone’s story.