Mourning Has Broken – Carol Balawyder

I’ve just reviewed Mourning has broken by Carol Balawyder. Carol Balawyder was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec and now lives in Montreal. She taught ESL and criminology for many years. Now, retired, she concentrates her time on writing crime novels, memoirs (see Mourning Has Broken under C.A. Balawyder)and women’s fiction. She is the author of Open for Business, Windows on Sci-Tech and her stories have appeared in Room Magazine, The Anthology of Canadian Writers and
You can visit her at


Mourning Has Broken offers a moving and poignant look at grief and loss. In this collection of narrative non-fiction essays, the author speaks from the heart not only about the death of a dear sister but also about the mourning of a mother, a father, a dear friend, a career and a religion.
Her sister’s death tore her heart apart. The grief she felt for her was more intense than any grief she ever felt for the death of someone dear to her. Perhaps it was the amalgamation of un-mourned griefs, or maybe it was because it was closer to home . To lose a parent puts your mortality next in line; to lose a sister, you are no longer in line – you have crossed the threshold.

When her mother died she wrote Don’t Bring me Flowers, an essay which is in this collection. In the weeks which followed her sister’s death , an urge to write an essay about her emerged . It was at page eighty that she realized the essay had flown off on its own and that she’d given herself a mission. For one year she would write about her mourning. In that year the author goes about her life as memories and myriads of emotions assail her.
Through it all, she explores the meaning of life and the changes of her own beliefs, taking the reader through a journey of sorrow, guilt, regret, joy and hope.
Readers who have known loss will find much to relate to in this book, and will particularly appreciate the author’s ability to be frank and open and at times humorous about feelings that might be difficult to acknowledge.


Tagged: , ,

25 thoughts on “Mourning Has Broken – Carol Balawyder

  1. jorobinson176 August 5, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Jo Robinson.


  2. Sounds like a book to read in middle age anyway when some of our ideologies as well as those we love begin to disappear from our lives…. ♥


    • Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm Reply

      Your so very right about our ideologies being tested, especially in the face of loss. When I began to write the book it was in response to my sister’s death but as the book progressed, more losses surfaced. We are never quite finished grieving those we love.


      • They stay in our hearts and memories and thank goodness for photographs. We lost my husband’s sister too young and it is her infectious laugh that immediately springs to mind. take care – besos Sally


        • Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 7:06 pm Reply

          Oh, Sally, I like what you said about remembering your husband’s sister’s infectious laugh.What a nice way to remember someone. 🙂


    • jorobinson176 August 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm Reply

      So true Sally. I think anyone who has lost someone so close would find comfort in this book. In fact it helped me with a bit of closure from years and years ago.


  3. Mira Prabhu August 5, 2014 at 9:50 am Reply

    Terrific title…it grabbed me instantly…with apologies to Cat Stevens, who I bet won’t mind a bit. Thanks for a great post!


    • Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I did think of Cat Stevens when choosing the title. 🙂


    • jorobinson176 August 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Thanks Mira! I reckon Cat would be honoured to be linked to this one.


  4. janetweightreed10 August 5, 2014 at 11:25 am Reply

    I always like a good recommendation….will give it a go. Janet


    • jorobinson176 August 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm Reply

      I guarantee this one is an absolute gem. One for re-reading in the future too.


    • Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm Reply

      Janet, I hope that you’ll find something of value for you in it. 🙂


  5. Karen Ingalls August 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm Reply

    I love the title and book cover. Will definitely give the book a read.


    • jorobinson176 August 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm Reply

      It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve read in a long while – it really opens up your heart and brings forgotten and misunderstood memories back. The image on the cover is a beautiful part of the book by the way.


    • Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm Reply

      I’m glad you liked the title and cover. The cover is from a photo of a stained glass window my sister made for me many years ago. I hope you’ll enjoy the book and find something in it especially for you. 🙂


  6. theowllady August 6, 2014 at 1:16 am Reply

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.


  7. Carol Balawyder August 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm Reply

    Thanks so very much, Jo, for posting this. I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. 🙂


    • jorobinson176 August 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm Reply

      It’s a real pleasure Carol. It’s so moving and beautiful. Your honesty with your feelings really resonated with me – and made me wish I was there a couple of times too. This should be one of Oprah’s favourite books – perfect.


  8. Earth Angel August 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm Reply

    Carol I am glad i found your blog through Jo…I had a near death experience at 4 years old and have been blessed to have visits from the “other side”…as life seems to continue into its many journeys..I am looking forward to getting your book as your heart is huge with so much to share! Heart to heart Robyn

    Liked by 1 person

    • jorobinson176 August 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm Reply

      Thank you Robyn! Your visits from the other side sound fascinating. I’ve had a couple some years back too – mostly scary though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Earth Angel August 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm Reply

        Thank you for sharing and commenting on this Carol. There are many dimensions that seem to be blending into one these days. I never really wrote down this experience because It was “different” to my traditional birth family. Very practical in their beliefs. I think we can have “scary” experiences when dark energy comes into play as well…There are many levels to crossing over, some help us release DNA that has been “affecting” us. These experiences are freeing the mind and body from its density, which seems to be much easier to ground for me this days, as an influx of powerful “light” is helping our ascension, to be released from old energy. I will share more later about messages I have received from the “other side” in the future. Heart to Heart Robyn ..

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: