What Looks Like Bravery: A Memoir (Compact Disc)
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It takes bravery to live--and die--with purpose. In her profound and evocative new memoir New York Times bestselling author Laurel Braitman explores the cost of holding in grief as a child, the power of facing it as an adult, and the ways that loss can transform us into the people we want to become. Laurel Braitman's childhood on a beautiful citrus and avocado ranch in Southern California was idyllic until her beloved father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A heart surgeon determined to outlive his prognosis, he went through chemo, amputations, and other grueling treatments. For years and against all odds, he traded parts of himself for time with his family so that he could teach Laurel and her younger brother everything they needed to know to survive without him--from out-fishing grown men and fixing carburetors to planning the best practical jokes and making up your own holidays just for the fun of it. Throughout her childhood, Laurel blamed herself for not having the power to heal him, suppressing her fears and clinging to his conviction that denying pain is a sign of bravery. In the years after her father's death Laurel faithfully ticked off every dream he'd had for her: earning a PhD from MIT, living in the Amazon, becoming a New York Times bestselling author, securing a professorship at a prestigious medical school, and so much more. But her external success hid a messy truth--denying her suffering and living with the constant fear of loss left her terrified of love and intimacy. And so, at thirty-six years old, reeling from yet another breakup, she set out on a journey to confront the grief she'd been avoiding for so long. Unleashed, Laurel's aching heart took her to a remarkable therapeutic center for grieving children, the remote islands of Alaska's Bering Sea, the shores of Italy's Lake Como, and the high deserts of Northern New Mexico. But before she could absorb the lessons she'd been taught, she was hit with more devastating losses, one after another. It was in making her way through these tragedies, using the hard-won wisdom she'd gained along the way, that Laurel discovered that it's never too late to face what scares us most. Even if that is love. What Looks Like Bravery is a revelatory, insightful look at how unexamined grief can persist over decades. It's a soaring and universal coming-of-age story about the importance of untangling what our parents want for us from the things we want for ourselves.