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In July 2012 Thomas Harding’s fourteen-year-old son Kadian was killed in a bicycle accident. Shortly afterwards Thomas began to write. This book is the result.
Beginning on the day of Kadian’s death, and continuing to the one-year anniversary, and beyond, Kadian Journal is at once a record of grief, a moving tribute to a lost son, and a celebration of a life lived to its fullest.
In a fitting tribute to the resilience of the family, Harding, a British journalist (The House by the Lake) who has written for several American publications, dissects one of the most horrible tragedies that can confront a household: the loss of a child. In July 2012, his oldest child, 14-year-old Kadian, was cycling with family and friends when he was fatally struck by a van. In alternating chapters of past and present, the grieving father draws in the reader with revealing views of his marriage, parenting, his two children, and the tough mourning process during Kadian's funeral. Harding and his wife, Deb, share their secret moments, the overwhelming sadness, and the guilt, all rendered with a fresh boldness and candor. Following the shattering event, he realizes nothing will be the same again and all his loved ones are "broken," but they must make peace with the untimely loss. Harding's sensitive, intimate account eschews sentimental half-truths and sensational details for a purer, healing love that lifts his family above sadness and pain to become "free from the shackles of grief." This review has been corrected. An earlier version mistakenly referred to Kadian as a "she."