Many times experiences of grief lead to well-worn adages such as when one door closes, another one opens and be here now. While such axioms may prove true, they’re not necessarily helpful to anyone battling despair.
NEVER STOP DANCING by John Robinette and Robert Jacoby does its best to avoid platitudes while still trying to access a larger sense of Truth. Constructed from conversations between Jacoby and Robinette after the latter’s wife is killed in a senseless pedestrian accident, their dialog ranges far and wide covering such topics as: Life, Death, Carrying On After Loss, Single Parenthood, Internet Dating, Love, Falling in Love Again, and the Nature of God. There may be no right answer to existential questions like “Why are my boys the ones selected to have no mother?” but for a memoir, this book is an interesting, poignant read even for anyone not dealing with great loss.
The tale told is moving as John copes with the aftermath of his wife Amy’s sudden absence, and it is especially moving as the story winds towards its conclusion where John realizes how Not Mindfully Present he had often been while she was still alive. Detailed memories of Amy come vividly to life, as do John’s adventures in the brave new world of online dating as he endeavors to find new ways of potentially adding joy to his life. It is a credit to how well readers come to care about the book’s main “character” that it is possible to root for him and the potential new love who appears.
Equally fascinating (and unusual!) is the deep dive NEVER STOP DANCING takes into the value of male friendship. Not the kind of friendship usually depicted by male buddies on an adventure, but rather the kind of connection that is possible between two men willing to expose Life’s greatest joys and deepest pains to one another, sharing experiences that are tangible, not always flattering, yet always heartfelt.
A container for mourning the loss of a beloved spouse, the memoir NEVER STOP DANCING by John Robinette and Robert Jacoby explores genuine friendship between two men as one supports the other on a wide-ranging journey from grief to transformation.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader