“The Light Streamed Beneath It: A Memoir of Grief and Celebration” by Shawn Hitchins— A Modern Memoir

“Hitchins, Shawn. “The Light Streamed Beneath It: A Memoir of Grief and Celebration”, ECW Press, 2021.

A Modern Memoir

Amos Lassen

In The Light Streamed Beneath It: A Memoir of Grief and Celebration”, Shawn Hitchins brings us amodern gay memoir that looks at love, death, pain, and community— a story of love, loss, and recovery and human resilience. Due to sudden death, Hitchins loses two great loves, five months apart. He shares his life and gives a tender elegy that explores what it means to be alive alongside longing, desire, anger, grief — and healing he discovers when he lets his heart remain open. We feel his self-awareness as he deals with his past and being in the present. He confronts the stories that have shaped him and seeks connection in what he used to deflect with laughter  while being aware that death’s is always present.

There is grief, love, community, hope and celebration here. It is not just about loving what you want, but loving what you have. The main message that death is a phase of life and like life itself, Hitchins’ story is often disjointed. It is not only about hoping for the future, but also about living in the present. 

We need to appreciate the things that we have in abundance such as love, laughter, hope, faith and community.  Hitchins shares his life with us and this is what allows us to see the need  to appreciate what we have. This is an emotional reading experience and a breathtaking memoir of love and death, pain and healing. It hits hard.

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