Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is about love, loss, grief, and the journey toward hope and reclaiming joy. Rock On focuses solely on sibling loss because it's a tragedy author Susan Casey experienced in her own life. On Valentine's Day, 2014, she learned of the horrific and unexpected death of her forty-three-year-old brother Rocky (birth name: Brian) who died while in Hong Kong with his wife and three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Susan shares her journey, capturing the bond between her and her brother, the shock over his sudden death, and the emotional three-week trip to Asia. When Susan returned home, she was faced with unimaginable grief. In her effort to heal, she interviewed others all over the world that had lost a sibling. Brothers and sisters shared their stories with a vulnerable and open heart, and these stories helped to nudge Susan, step by step, out of the deep river of grief. As she listened, a deeper healing took place, anchoring Susan's belief that loving and losing far outweigh never loving at all.
The stories segue into excerpts from the people she talked to that are relevant to the theme of each chapter. Susan weaves in her memories throughout each story and ends each chapter with her thoughts on the chapter's theme to provide additional insights to help the reader on their grief journey. Susan's story and the stories of other people who lost a sibling explore the resiliency of the human spirit after a tragic loss and how their sibling's death impacted their lives.
About the Author
Susan E. Casey, MSW, MFA, is a writer, a licensed mental health clinician, a certified bereavement group facilitator, and a certified life coach. Throughout the past 25 years, Susan has worked in hospice, in-patient, and home-based settings with teens and adults, and taught numerous courses to executive leaders and clinicians. Currently, Susan works for a measurement-based care organization, providing clinical coaching to therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists countrywide to improve mental health outcomes for youth and adults. Susan's blog, www.susanecasey.com, chronicles her grieving process following the death of her younger brother. Her fiction has won numerous awards, including first place in the PEN/Nob Hill Literary Contest and Green Writer's National Literary Contest. Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is her first work of nonfiction. Both Susan's professional and creative work have been guided by her deep belief that every individual has purpose and inherent strengths and deserves the opportunity to reach their own unique potential. Susan lives in Maine with her husband Steve and golden retriever Indy.
"After the tragic death of her younger brother 'Rocky, ' Author Susan Casey takes readers on a harrowing journey from the black river of grief to reclaiming a life with joy and a transformed heart. A licensed social worker, Casey also chronicles the loss of other grief-stricken siblings, who share their heartbreaking and hopeful stories. A must read for anyone who has lost a brother or sister and has embarked on their own healing odyssey." Barbara Walsh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of August Gale: A Father and Daughter's Journey into the Storm and Sammy in the Sky.
"I loved reading this book! Susan's description of her own journey through grief helped expand on the experiences shared by the siblings she interviewed. Even in the bereavement profession, the grieving sibling is often overlooked or their needs diminished. Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is an important book and Susan does a great job of bringing the people and the process to life, even while dealing with death of her brother." Tasha Walsh, Executive Director at Rockbridge Area Hospice
"Rock On details how the loss of a beloved sibling can turn your world upside down. Using personal experience, this book will make you realize that you are not alone, providing hope and support for anyone who is feeling lost in the sea of grief. The heartbreakingly raw and honest account exudes positivity in its messages, telling of how sorrow and heartache can be turned into acts of kindness, emphasizing how important it is to do everything with love and appreciation for life and for our loved ones." Aimee Mckee: a 20 year old who lost her older brother on May 12, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.