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ISBN 978-0932027-764

212 pages • 6” x 9”

Losing Jonathan

by Robert Waxler & Linda Waxler
Introduction by Pulitzer Prize Winner Don Murray

When Bob and Linda Waxler received a phone call warning them their beloved and accomplished son Jonathan was taking heroin, they began a journey that took them through the detox hospitals and halfway houses of America. But the second call a year later, from the medical examiner in San Francisco, informing them that Jonathan had died, plunged them into the deep darkness -- a long, lonely journey into the center of themselves. Their task was to survive in a world that would never again be the same, and they did survive and even triumph, incorporating Jonathan into their lives not as a lost son, but as a living spirit who is with them in a new way.

"A moving story, well told, of love, loss and pain."

–Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"Drawing compelling insights from the inner territories of their agonizing loss, Robert and Linda Waxler provide each one of us with understanding, wisdom and courage to search for the redemptive healing possibilities of life's meanings. I cannot recommend it highly enough!!"

–Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, DHL, DD, author of Living When A Loved One Has Died

"'Losing Jonathan' is a powerful and heartbreaking book whose tender wisdom touches all parents. If the book has a single shortcoming, it is the title, for thanks to Robert and Linda Waxler, we have not lost Jonathan. Their son's soul shines strong in a moving tribute that also offers an important cautionary component."

–Elizabeth Mehren, author of Born Too Soon and After the Darkest Hour, the Sun Will Shine Again

"Robert and Linda Waxler have written a book that is easy and difficult to read. Easy, because they write simply and clearly with graceful references to English literature and the Jewish religion. Difficult, because they make us follow them through the grinding sequences of apprehension as Jonathan moves slowly toward death, then the long journey through the pain of final loss. Their diligence commands our attention."

–Steven L. Nickman, Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and co-editor of Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief

"Bob and Linda Waxler's courage and willingness to share their story is a gift to all of us who have children at risk. And the truth of their story is that all our children are at risk."

–David Tebaldi, Executive Director, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities

About the Author

Robert P. Waxler graduated with a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from Boston College, and a Ph.D. from Stony Brook College SUNY. He is currently an English professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he has also served as Chairman of the English Department, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Continuing Education and Summer Programs.

‍ Dr. Waxler is cofounder of the Center for Jewish Culture at UMass Dartmouth, and served as the Center’s co-director for fifteen years. He also cofounded “Changing Lives Through Literature” (CLTL) , an internationally celebrated alternative sentencing program for criminal offenders.

‍ Professor Waxler is co-author of Finding a Voice (University of Michigan Press) and

Losing Jonathan (Spinner Publications), and co-editor of Changing Lives Through Literature (Notre Dame Press). He has published articles in The Boston Globe, Journal of Popular Culture, Publications of the Modern Language Association, Modern Language Studies, Brown Magazine, and Journal of Business Communications. He has written essays for A Mensch Among Men (Crossing Press), The Book Club Book (Chicago Review Press), Total Quality Management (Dryden Press), and Success Stories (U.S. Department of Education). The author and his work have been featured in Parade Magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, The New York Times, and on National Public Radio.

‍ Robert Waxler can be contacted at