Letters To Sam
A Grandfather's Lessons On Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life
By Daniel Gottlieb
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
This touching (but not sentimental) book is a series of letters from a
grandfather to a grandson, each of whom has a disability.
What makes the book so moving is that the writer, a
psychotherapist for many years, is able to express himself with such
completely open emotional honesty and to tell the hard truths about himself. He wants to do more than
simply share the valuable lessons he has learned while living through
his own pain, loss and disability. He wants his grandson to
remember that life is full of potential love and joy and that working
through the inevitable challenges he will face will serve to bring him
even greater love and joy.
But there is much more here. The letters cover hard-won and
profound insights into many questions we all ask ourselves about the
unrealistic expectations and dissapointments we find in life.
Insights about how we interpret and misinterpret events and
the actions of others. Insights about what is valuable and
what is distraction. Insights about hope, acceptance and
The book takes a short time to read. It has taken a lifetime
for Daniel Gottlieb to learn the wisdom he writes. He shares
his words with his grandson and with us in hopes that we may assimilate
his lessons in a much shorter and easier time than it took him.
About the author: Daniel Gottlieb, a practicing psychologist and family therapist, is the host of "Voices in the Family" on WHYY, Philadelphia's National Public Radio affiliate. A columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, he is author of two books, including a collection of his columns entitled Voices of Conflict; Voices of Healing. He is the father of two daughters, and Sam is his only grandson. The author's royalties will benefit Cure Autism Now and other children's health organizations.