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When My Son Died

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4.73  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Parents should not have to bury their children. A father’s life is devastated as he fights to heal with Aboriginal language and ceremony. A lifetime of good works comes into question. Secrets are disclosed.

Kenn Pitawanakwat, B.A., M.A., is a professor of an endangered language. A Graduate of York University and Northern Michigan University, Kenn steps forward a
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Paperback, 172 pages
Published November 2015 by Kenn Pitawanakwat
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Lana Pine
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A good read indeed! I would recommend this book. As an Anishnabe I understood the very strong messages being carried out in this book. Miigwetch Ken for sharing your heartfelt story. It gives provided me with my own insight and appreciation of life and sacrifices we endure as parents.
Derek McPhail
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
enjoyed "When My Son Died" immensely. yes, it can be sad and heart-wrenching, but the author's intimate soul-searching and down-to-earth observations and insights into his family and ancestors is inspirational. am sure his son Shannon/Shantu is proud that Kenn used this grieving strategy to corral his intent and personal power to dance in gratitude to the Great Spirit. Kenn Pitawanakwat is a fine and decent man. can only hope that in days to come, he has forgiven himself for whatever sins he may ...more
Vicki Boulanger
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you have not read this book yet you all need to its a wonderful heart felt book!I am almost done reading it and will keep this in my heart and soul forever !!! so Miigwetch for taking the time to write this and share with us. Kenn Pitawanakwat My heart goes out to you My Friend .
Kristan Cannon
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kristan by: http://www.kennpitawanakwat.com.usrfi...
Heartbreaking and inspirational in turns.

A very rare glimpse into the reality of the culture behind what mainstream fiction, movies, and TV like to warp out of shape.

It takes a small step in the right direction and this book should be the start of that journey... or at least added to it.
Amy
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Part love letter to his son, part cultural education, and part informal (and maybe unintended?) manual on the stages of grief, this memoir is a must read for anyone who has experienced any sort of great loss. The author's extraordinary ability to bring the reader on an intimate journey through raw emotion and primal grieving, only to provide light and hope in the end left me breathless, exhausted, grateful, and in awe of his resilience. Although he values his privacy (as he stated in the book), ...more
Barb
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was profoundly moved by this book, in fact moved to tears during parts of it. Kenn has given us a precious gift by allowing us into the pain and beauty of his grief and his struggle and his journey, a journey that is by no means finished. The intimacy and dialogue with his son is incredible, and I love that he and his son continue to communicate. Our loved ones are always there for us even though they have passed on into the spirit world. That is the beauty and comfort of our traditional Anish ...more
Jesse
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt and raw. A story of one man's journey through the loss of his child. Bursting with Indigenous culture, history, and emotion. Excellent read with a rare, but eye opening perspective.
E.D.E. Bell
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My review from the back cover: "Raw, honest, and unafraid, When My Son Died is the story of a man’s deepest loss, written in the tongue of his own cultural grief. It is a visceral look into a man’s pain and his fight to thrive."

I am still so moved to have been able to have been a small part of this. I hope you will read Kenn's book for his unique perspective on grief and recovery.
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Kenn Pitawanakwat
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Kenn Pitawanakwat, B.A., M.A., is a professor of an endangered language. A Graduate of York University and Northern Michigan University, Kenn steps forward as people’s confidant and Algonquian language etymologist. Kenn has been featured in film, social media, and academe. Kenn currently lives, with his wife, Lorraine, in northern Ontario, Canada, where his personal search for meaning in tragedy l ...more