Losing Tim

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Timothy Eysselinck was a civilian contractor in Iraq. Though he had formerly served in the US military, his new job was removing mines to make war-torn places safe once more. In April of 2004, when he was once again home with his family, he killed himself. This is his mother’s story.

As expected, Losing Tim is heartbreaking, but it is also beautiful. Burroway does not provide a linear story from Tim’s birth, through his life, and finally to her grieving. Though she does include all of the important pieces, she gives them out of order, crafting a story that flows seamlessly from the present to the 1970s and back again. This lends the book the feeling of memory, as one recollection leads to another, which leads to another, but everything is always brought back around to the main timeline of a mother’s life after her son’s death.

Burroway is an incredibly talented writer, and she is very adept at describing exactly what she felt during this awful time. These moments where she goes into her own head and tells what was happening there are almost shocking in their pain, simplicity (not of emotion but of expression), and resonance. Almost everyone has lost a loved one, and Burroway describes this experience in an intensely accurate and poetic way that feels at once personal and universal. Everyone will be able to relate to this book.

Losing Tim goes further a normal memoir, however. Before his death, Tim was struggling with America’s involvement in Iraq and with his place within the occupation. Without getting too political, Burroway discusses her son’s disillusionment, the government’s use of civilian contractors, how we in America view those contractors, and other families who have suffered from the same set of circumstances that led to Tim’s suicide. She uses a very personal experience to point out a larger problem and to show just how important it is.

This book is everything. It is charming, painful, heartwarming, and heart-rending. It tells of a full and exciting life, a terrible loss, and the ordeal of moving on. This is an essentially human story, and, though the plot is tragic, the telling is flawless.


Reviewed By:

Author Janet Burroway
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 182 pages
Publisher Think Piece Publishing, LLC
Publish Date 07-Apr-2014
ISBN 9780989235235
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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