MVCN Magazine by and for CaregiversFall 2015
Sleeping with the War by Melissa Comeau
Reviewed by Megan Swanson
When I first read Melissa Comeau’s book, I was shocked– partially because having met her in person, you wouldn’t think this type of dark and violent imagery could possibly come from this eternal optimist. That being said, her poetry rings so true, it cannot help but strike a chord with those who are caregivers to our loved ones. It forces readers to take a step back and really look at what is happening to our caregivers. In the same vein, it encourages caregivers to reflect upon their own journeys and find in themselves a need for some more effective self-care.
Darkly honest, these pages of verse are a definite eye opener for those who see the men and women who come home from war as the same people that they were prior to deployment. The voice is that of someone who grew just as lost on this journey as her veteran, and it’s scary, and infuriating. Through it all, though, there is a deep love for her veteran and a will as strong as iron.
I came away from this book with a different view of my veteran and of my own situation. Every caregiver-veteran situation is different, and yet there is a fearful symmetry in each as well. As difficult as this book was to read at times, I was encouraged by the fact that it reminded me that I am not alone.
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