In discussing tragedy as strength, the Dalai Lama said: “No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” In Carla Kringer’s book, “It’s a Wonderful Unfinished Life,” she teaches readers that the grieving process is never one of ease. Nearly all of us have experienced loss, and where words of solace and kindness can fill a room, somehow we may still find ourselves in the dark. But, if you look hard enough and if you can find the good amidst the rubble, you can find hope.
After the loss of her father, Jo Jo Gigliotti, to a drunk driver on April 24, 2008, Kringer was nothing short of devastated. However, her father’s death would not fade out. Kringer would use her voice to write through her process of grief in order to rebuild her life again. The book would become a journey for Kringer who, in offering readers her private tale of loss and sorrow, would help both herself and others on the road to healing. While justice is very much a part of this book, Kringer discusses the wonderful, but unfinished life that was Jo Jo’s — a literary scrapbook of memories than can never be forgotten.
“In that instant, all I had left were memories. The memories were clouded and weighed down by the turmoil and anguish of the loss. It was almost as if the memories were erased from my mind. But I learned they were just buried by the debris of the tragedy. In time, the memories came alive again in my mind, and I carry them in my heart.”
Even considering the heavy undertone of the work, there is no sense of disdain. Instead, Kringer demonstrates a voice of strength fortified after such devastation, one that is manifested by love. Kringer seems to express that what is left after the wreckage, both physically and emotionally, is up to us. Part perception of the incident and part action thus forward, we choose how a given event will either open or close our hearts. Kringer keeps her heart open and never gives up and, through that, instills a hope within us.
Kringer will continue her work as a voice to her father, Jo Jo, and to all of those whose lives remain unfinished.
Readers who wish to purchase Kringer’s book may do so at her upcoming book signing at the Barnes & Noble Arena Plaza in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.
‘It’s a Wonderful Unfinished Life’ by Carla Kringer Rating: W W W W W