What would the world look like after you passed on? What if you were still on the scene watching events unfold, watching the people you care about carry on after your death? What if those people, who are only connected by you, gravitated together for a greater purpose? Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer is witnessing those events take place.
Neil Abramson’s book, Unsaid, is told from Helena’s perspective as she watches her husband, her farm life and the animals she loves suffer in life after her death. She watches her husband, David, struggle to take on the care of her farm animals while getting back to his life as a high-powered Manhattan attorney. She watches him crumble under the weight of depression and the demands of his work. She watches her loyal animal companions be neglected as a result of her absence.
As I pictured David’s life unraveling before me, my heart tore out for him. I wanted to make him sit down and slow down, take a breath and mourn. I wanted to help him with his animals and talk him thru his pain. I wanted to make him take more time before going back to his stressful job. But of course, he quickly gets thrust back into the demands of his fast-paced career.
David ends up in the courtroom on behalf of Helena’s old research associate who has raised and cared for a now-threatened chimpanzee that has made amazing breakthroughs in communication. The drama that unfolds before Helena threads together pieces of her life in a story that shows the special bonds between people and their pets. It shows the healing power of animals; it shows how they connect with us and communicate with us on many levels.
Having grieved the loss of pets and people, having rescued and raised horses, dogs, cats, and a variety of other animals, the book especially hits home with me. Each of my animals have their own distinct personalities and communicate in their own way. Each of them is an integral part of my life, like a piece of the puzzle that makes my life more complete. Even when it comes time to let them go, I know I’m better for having loved and having been loved by such loyal companions. Go get Neil’s book Unsaid today, curl up with your loyal companion and enjoy this wonderfully compelling story.