Piece Comment

Review of Out of Their Hands

This documentary is desperately sad--and flawlessly done. It consists entirely of the voices of four women. They tell the stories of the deaths of their children a quarter century ago, and of the support group they founded together as a result. These are thoughtful women with broken hearts and cracks in their voices. Teresa Goff has captured them in the act of remembering, and of articulating unbearable feelings. They talk in poems.

"I wasn't there when he died, but I had to be there for everything else," one mother recalls in explaining why she insisted on going to the morgue to identify her son's body. "I remember taking a sweater because he'd be cold."

"I really wanted to die," says another, "and I couldn't. Heartache doesn't kill you."

There's a lovely sequence when the women talk among themselves from a distance of twenty-five years about their own sorrow--and their anger on behalf of their children, who were cheated out of life. They also talk of being saved by one another and other bereaved parents from having their lives truly crippled by grief.

"At this stage of my life I feel fortunate," one of the women says convincingly.

"Life is beautiful. It is. And it's precious."