Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 years later: Remembering

I am currently reading "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. I'm not sure how this book slipped by me when it was published YEARS ago. A friend of mine read it, and I remember thinking "oh, I'd like to read that" but I guess I never got around to it. Recently, I had finished a book and didn't have one to take with me on a weekend trip to San Francisco, so I picked up "Owen Meany" in the airport bookshop.

It is a terrific book. Irving is a brilliant writer and I'm enjoying it so much.

The main character, Johnny, is writing about his past and as I read this part today about loss of a loved one, it hit home and made me understand even better the grief that my grandmother feels daily after the loss of Grampa Dick, with whom she shared a life for 60 years. It also helped me understand my own grief.

Here is what he said, I hope it blesses you as well.

"When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time - the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes - when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever - there comes another day, and another specific part." (p.139)

A few pages later:
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. I was eleven years old when my mother was killed; I mourn her still. I mourn for more than her, too. I don't feel "comforted"; not yet." (p.147)

When we have loved deeply, and maybe even when we have loved shallowly, our loss goes deep and the ache of loss lingers a long time.

May you (and I)  find some comfort and some peace, even as another day of loss steps forward.