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And She Was Never the Same Again: A Multigenerational Memoir

And She Was Never the Same Again: A Multigenerational Memoir

By: Natasha Pryde Trujillo, PhD
Publisher: Violet Echoes Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2024
ISBN: 978-8-9895443-0-1
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: May 28, 2024

Natasha Pryde Trujillo delivers a compelling read titled: And She Was Never The Same Again: A Multigenerational Memoir. She shares intimate moments of her personal losses of loved ones and how they shaped who she is in her own healing journey.

We begin with a Forward written by Heather Servaty-Seib, PhD, HSPP, wherein she emotes personal honor to have been selected to write it. She praises Dr. Trujillo with the accomplishments she achieved in encapsulating theories, concepts and research related to the field of loss and grief and the raw reality to her words; given she has personally lived through the experiences. While the loss of her Grandma Pryde is tantamount and Dr. Trujillo saves the details of her passing for the last interview in her book, she anchors her memoir in her Preface. She shares her ‘why’ to write this book: “Tragedy rode in on the coattails of rebuilding my life after losing my beloved Grandma Pryde…” There is an abundance of healing elements to attain throughout this book in that it can be about one’s own family and/or friends, anyone you have met (and lost). She has achieved the ultimate goal all true writers covet when the moment comes to set his/her work free to a world of strangers: “If I am able to touch the heart and soul of a stranger, I am the richest writer on the planet!” With a total of 13 chapters, each is devoted to a loved family member of Dr. Trujillo’s who has passed and the light illuminates brightly from her pen in describing the emotions that affect her and the circumstances that surround each egregious loss. There are incredibly powerful and thoughtful views peppered throughout this read. One that immediately made me take pause in order to let it properly sink in was: “…I firmly believe that when you love someone, you have to accept that perfection does not exist, and for all the ways we can honor and respect someone, flaws will forever be present as well…”

There are nuances in each chapter that point to why Dr. Trujillo is who she is: a self-proclaimed perfectionist to a fault. She is an accomplished athlete who played basketball throughout her school years and came to her crossroads when she decided she didn’t want to play anymore. She has experienced a love for someone who her entire family believed she would live happily ever after with, complete with the proverbial home and its white picket fence. Yet, that did not happen. She embraces the love of family and her strong ties to her Hispanic culture surrounded by the familiarity of the stark beauty of Wyoming. However, she eventually leaves her extended family and Wyoming roots and settles elsewhere. She will certainly bring tears to her readers’ eyes when they read the heart-wrenching passing of her rock: Grandma Pryde. The overarching takeaway is a nurturing experience of not necessarily acceptance, but to understand that moment in time and learn how to cope in the journey of life ahead without him/her in it.

Dr. Trujillo has done an exceptional job of opening her life of grief and loss for her audience to experience. The intentional nature in which this book is written provides a welcome comfort of hope. Natasha Pryde Trujillo has managed to create a sense of awakening toward the inevitability of the premise that life’s companion is death and the reality is a multifaceted array of feelings to those who experience such a loss. Her words encourage her audience to look at those ‘isms’ we humans all own and instead of wanting to avoid seeing them, to look at them and learn how to navigate and accept; especially when it is too late to share those sentiments when you could have. There are circumstances where she alludes to the notion that even though someone we loved is no longer with us, are they really completely gone? The overarching insights are many throughout this beautifully written memoir. This is one of my favorites and resonates with me quite deeply: “…Grief never goes away. It changes form, but those feelings and memories don’t ever evaporate. The pain breaks up over time and hammers stakes in our bodies, stealing real estate and remodeling the landscape as it sees fit…” Bravo Dr. Trujillo….you are a truly gifted writer.

Quill says: And She Was Never the Same Again is a must read for anyone who struggles with loss and is on a quest to learn how to cope and allow hope and joy into their life.

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