How does a mother cope with the loss of her son?
Mitzi Montague-Bauer has created a deeply personal, raw and vulnerable account of her attempt to find meaning in her son’s life experience, cut short by “mental illness” and subsequent, apparent suicide. Bound together by eternal love, Mitzi and Journey travel a winding path.
The gripping, exquisitely crafted narrative engages so thoroughly; Mitzi’s worry, guilt, fear, hope and love are palpable. Those emotions are beautifully complemented by Journey’s brilliant, compassionate, prescient writings, reflecting wisdom drawn from a higher source. Journey leads you beyond coping and acceptance to the surprising possibility of embracing tragedy.
A spiritual tale, clothed in a human experience, this book explores the deepest essence of this experience called “life”, and speaks to the eternal questions; Who am I? Why am I here?
Journey, it seems, entered this world to shine a light on what society calls mental illness. He came to teach us that at the core we are all love, and to trust in the Divine. His legacy endures through “Journey’s Dream,” a not-for-profit organization.
As fiction Journey would be acclaimed a work of creative genius, as non-fiction it rests at the pinnacle of inspired, masterful storytelling. It will nurture your soul.
As an Episcopal priest and former mental health therapist, I am someone who listens to others life stories for a living. At first glance I thought this book would be like the hundreds of other stories that I have heard - but I was wrong. Every story is unique but this one was very different than the rest. It's always a privilege to be privy to the intimate details of someone's life when you talk to them in person, so I was astounded that I felt honored and humbled to be included in this gripping account of love between a mother and her son while reading this book.
Parents typically want the best for their children, and they are willing to go to any length to see that this happens. Sometimes this relationship is easy and joyful while other times it is painful, confusing and traumatic. Mitzi weaves her truth through all of this and in her telling I found myself experiencing a wide range of emotions - from fear, sadness and anger to joy and exhilaration. While on the surface it's a story of how mother and son navigate the mental health system and the many challenges they encounter along the way, it is ultimately about their path of discovering the meaning and purpose of life and death and the road between the two that all of us have to travel.
Relationships do not cease at the time of death they only change. How do we continue to love and relate to someone after they are physically gone from this earth? Mitzi and her son Journey lead us on this amazing adventure to places that we would rather not go. This is certainly not a religious story, but it is a profoundly spiritual one. You will not be able to put this book down once you enter its pages!
If you can imagine watching Swan Lake being performed on a bed of broken glass, then you will know the elegant and heart breaking feeling you get reading this incredible book. I found myself drawn into this woman’s story from the first page. Her attention to detail is remarkable and her willingness to reveal herself throughout this experience with such vulnerability makes you want to sit down with her over a cup of tea and talk about it all the more.
How does anyone lose a child and get through it? She doesn’t sugar coat it, yet we see in her such a fierce spirit of resilience and strength as she fights for her son’s health and happiness that we can’t help but want to read to the end. Throughout this book we hear her son’s voice as excerpts from his personal journal are shared-what a unique look into the heart of someone who is struggling with mental health issues. His voice is wise and you will find yourself wondering how such a young man could have such deep and inspiring thoughts. Reading this book brings you closer to understanding a family in crisis because of a loved one with mental health diagnosis, and also brings hope as they show not only how they made their way through this, but how they are now creating a space for others to find treatment that they were not able to find. This book is full of warmth and humor on a very serious topic, you will be glad you took the time to read it.
A must-read for anyone touched by psychological distress and loss. Ms. Montague-Bauer takes you on a journey towards empathy, insight, and love by revealing the perspectives of individual and family as they cross paths with the mental health system. As a mental health professional and person, I was pained by the obstacles faced, while deeply moved by Ms. Montague-Bauer’s approach to healing and tenacious love. Every person working in mental health should read her story as a reminder to never lose sight of the people who are living the Journey.
Please note I wrote this review based on an advanced reading copy sent to me by the author. I’ve since included it as a recommended read to students in the mental health field.
A deeply moving book about a mother’s love and search for answers to her son’s mental health challenges. I found myself unable to put this book down and completely unaware of time as I read this. The author’s writing flowed so beautifully, there were times it spoke as poetry to me. Anyone touched by mental illness will be both challenged and inspired as they read this. As I finished the last page my thought was, how many copies can I afford to purchase and give away.
I am so deeply touched by the honesty of a mother’s love woven into the book Journey. The unfolding of the mother-son relationship throughout this book has transformed me in ways I am still processing. All the twists and turns, ups and downs, ordinary and extraordinary moments, challenges and insights lead to an unimaginable grief but then transforms yet again into an eternal love and sense of hope. The writing style in this book flows so effortlessly and drew my heart in so deeply I could not put it down
Journey's words woven throughout the pages offer a depth of compassion and broader understanding of the human mind and spiritual path of an enlightened being. I experienced every human emotion a mother can experience while reading this story and felt changed as a result of it.
The authors courage to share her walk through the thing all parents fear the most, the loss of a child, with such a bright light of integrity, and honesty, makes this story a gift of love and hope to others. Mitzi and Journey's story causes the reader to consider a new way of seeing and responding to mental health challenges for both the individual and family. I've had my own experiences with the "dark night of the soul" and at times, even today, find myself in the middle of this winding twisting journey through life, wondering how it will all turn out for me and my loved ones. I am so grateful to not be alone.
Lastly, Journey demonstrates that life does not end with our last breath. Journey's life and his mother's story has the potential to change the life for countless individuals and families as more and more people read this story. In Journey's words, "the hardest part is over." Let this eternal love be the vessel for transformation, hope, and loving change that heals the world one life and one family at a time.
Stories about a mother's love, and the bond they share with their children are always moving, and touching, but rarely as profoundly shattering as Journey: A Mother's Account of Love, Loss and Spiritual Healing.
I don't want to say Mitzi Montague-Bauer suffered the greatest loss a parent can have - that of a child preceding them in death, because suffering doesn't do her experience justice. Suffering is so one or two dimensional. Mitzi and her family experienced loss on more levels than the average person is even aware exist - the personal, public, and private, of course, but more so on the spiritual and supernatural plane. I was captivated by her resilience, awareness, and courage in sharing what was the most moving memoir of the birth, life, and death of her son.
As a ghostwriter and editor (who did NOT write this), for more than ten years, this is possibly the best book I've ever read. The writing is brilliant, the experience raw and real, yet simple and delicately and profoundly crafted. It was a joy to read.
It reminded me of the "Virgin Mary" who was visited by angels who told her that her son would save mankind, and then later, as he set out to save the world she and his siblings confronted him in front of a crowd - telling people he was "crazy."
Even after being visited by angels, and experiencing the magic and uniqueness of special, gifted, innately creative children how much easier is it for any parent to deny that glimpse beyond the veil of life, and into the divine (of any religion or faith), rather than open ourselves up to something that may actually be bigger, truer, or more profound? Too many of us fall back on the familiar, the comfortable, the "normal," yet what happens when we stop and think, "Could it be?"
I think Mitzi's courage in being open, in relating her experience, her fears, her anger, and her love make this a book of the year contender.
If you have ever loved someone with a mental illness, this is a “must read”. In quoting Journey’s own
words from his personal blog, Mitzi provides an insight into the world of mental illness that no college course could match. By adding her own story, Mitzi bravely invites the reader to examine not only how
we treat the mentally ill, but how do we, who love the mentally ill, recognize our own wounds and find
our own healing. I am a mental health professional and was honored to receive a free review copy of
this book from the author. I’ve since bought two more copies, one for myself and one to share with my
This is a deeply moving book about a mother’s love and search for answers to her son’s mental health
challenges. I found myself unable to put this book down and completely unaware of time as I read this.
The author’s writing flowed so beautifully that there were times it spoke as poetry to me. Anybody
touched by mental illness will be both challenged and inspired as they read this. As I finished the last
page my thought was, how many copies can I afford to purchase and give away.
I am so deeply touched by the honesty of a mother’s love woven into the book Journey. The unfolding
of the mother-son relationship throughout this book has transformed me in ways I am still processing.
All the twists and turns, ups and downs, ordinary and extraordinary moments, challenges and insights
lead to an unimaginable grief but then transforms yet again into an eternal love and sense of hope. The
writing style in this book flows so effortlessly and drew my heart in so deeply I could not put it down. I
felt like I was walking through each page with the author, experiencing all the emotional, physical, and
spiritual lessons described throughout each experience in their life together.
Mitzi Montague-Bauer is a master of description. She holds nothing back in her detailed account of Journey's life and her struggle. She describes, in intimate detail, the love, hope, worry, and fear, and the
eventual overwhelming grief that torments her after Journey's apparent suicide. She takes us into the homes and hearts of others who cared for Journey and the friends who supported her through her
ordeal. Through Journey's writings, and her own battle to keep faith, she explores questions about life
and purpose that plague most of us at times, and questions about the workings of the human mind that
have, for centuries, driven research and experimentation seeking ways to heal sick minds. Finally, by
revealing how she found her own peace, she gives readers hope and a suggested path to follow.