In the epilogue of his book, the author made this powerful observation and statement: “At some point in the process, my eyes were opened to an incredible truth: we can’t do this thing called life alone.” As Tim Kreider shares his painful and powerful story of walking through the incarceration of his son, he underscores the importance of involving and inviting other people into our lives.
When I received Refuse to Drown I already knew the premise of the book – that the author’s son was involved in a murder and the father had to make some difficult choices that would have lasting impact on his son. Knowing the backdrop of the book did not diminish the power of Kreider’s story. Walking with him through the facts of the murder, the emotional struggles of his son, Alec, the discovery of his son’s involvement in the crime, how it impacted both himself and his other children and the heartbreaking choices he had to make, I was drawn into his narrative. As a parent, I found myself hoping for some twist in the story, some unforeseen change that would redirect how the story would end. Unfortunately, that didn’t take place.
What Refuse to Drown does is underscore what Kreider shared in his epilogue – we can’t do this life alone. Alec’s story is a stirring reminder that we need to allow other people into our lives, even when it is difficult and uncomfortable. It was encouraging through the book to see how various people – both friends and strangers – spoke into Tim Kreider’s life and offered the support and assistance he needed.
This book is a compelling read, but especially for those who may be going through a dark season in life. It is a stark reminder that the decisions we make in private eventually become public and that we aren’t alone in our struggles. If you or someone you know is struggling, Refuse to Drown is a helpful reminder that we can’t live this life alone.