Jan Pryor is first and foremost a mother, and is now a grandmother. She started her career by carrying out research in Developmental Psychology, but changed her focus from individuals to families in all their diversity. She established a Family Research Centre at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and was the Chief Commissioner at the Families Commission in New Zealand until she retired.
'After Alexander' is a story that kept wanting to be told. She wrote it in order to convey the significance of such an event on her life, and to enable others to acknowledge their stories. The loss of a baby at any age including before birth, the absence of a baby in situations of infertility, these are fundamental issues for many people. The book is, too, a tribute to the short life of her son.
The book also describes how, as an early baby boomer woman, she negotiated the pathway between being a 'traditional' woman who stayed at home, and forging a professional life of her own. She wrestled with the sometimes conflicting roles of wife and mother, and of academic, as so many women of her time did.
The book follows her journey from being a religious teenager to becoming an agnostic/atheist adult. It tells how she confronts the loss of her baby from a secular perspective.
Jan is a marriage and funeral celebrant in New Zealand. See jan-pryor.com
About the book
This book tells of experiences of losing a son - of his brief life, and of what happened afterward. It describes the clumsiness of well-meant consolations, the challenges of organising a funeral in a country on the other side of the world from home, and the lack of information about how to farewell a son without a religious ceremony. It describes how the family carried on supporting two other children, and faced the decision about whether or not to have another child. It looks back at the impact of the loss on the author and her family up to the time when she became a grandmother.
Copyright After Alexander