Posted by: Louise | October 14, 2010

Day 13 – a fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss

I should have looked down through the thirty headings with a bit more attention. I feel like my books are getting used up, quickly.

My reading is more accurately described as sporadic, definitely not avid – much as I might aspire to the latter. I’m not great at sticking with a book if it doesn’t grab me at the outset. I want to get sucked in and transported. I am also not great at giving up on a book so the book that isn’t grabbing me causes a log jam that I can’t get past.

Two books have sucked me in, and carried me along, since Laura died. And they are both about death. The first was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It was a book I had picked up many many times in the book shop – picked up and put down because “Who would willing read a book about a child dying?” But then a friend read it and loved it and gave it to me. She gave it to me at lunchtime on Saturday and I put it down at 11.00am on Sunday.

Why did I love it? Why did I devour it? There was something in it that was a comfort. My worst fear has happened. My child has gone. Anything that suggests an after life consoles. And here I mean both life after death for the person who is gone and that life can continue for those left behind – life, not some kind of daily trudge. It’s been six months since I read it. My mind has been in overdrive for 16 months now. The subtleties of this book have got lost in the whirl of thoughts, but I do know this book gave me something.

The second book, read more recently, was The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. Here the view point was not that of the child who was gone (or husband in this case), but of the person who was left behind. It captured the atmosphere of grief and the lostness of grief in a way that wrapped me up and allowed me to just be – and then threw a storyline on top to keep my head above water.

Now my reading is slowing again. I’m battling a log jam, but I think this time I am winning.


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