The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

This isn't going to turn into a book review blog - I promise. And this is the last "serious" book I'll be reading for a while, I need something a bit lighter now.

I finished this book a couple of days ago and found quite a few things I could relate to. Joan Didion described the year following her husband's unexpected death from a heart attack. In addition to this loss, she also had to deal with a seriously ill daughter who spent months in hospitals (the daughter survived).
There are things she writes about that I can relate to very much.
She talks about the grief coming in waves. Yes, I've noticed that.
She writes about expecting for a long time that the deceased will come back. That's why she doesn't give away all his shoes - after all, her husband will need them when he comes back. Funny, for the longest time - and I still do at times - I thought that if I just do the right thing(s), Henry will come back (or, at least, this nightmare will be over). I know better, I kissed him goodbye, both in the hospital and at the funeral home, but still ........... that thought is very much there in the back of the mind.
And she talks about the state of shock so many of us go into. It looks as if we're totally accepting our loss because we are so calm and do all the things we have to do. But it's not acceptance or "normal grief" - it's shock. She almost asked to attend her husband's autopsy.
She writes so calmly about everything that happened to her daughter, her medical knowledge is quite impressive.
She writes about the changes she has made - always leaving a light on in the apartment at night - just to be on the safe side - switching from sandals to sneakers so she won't catch her foot in a gap in the sidewalk. After all, who will take care of her if something happens to her.
It's a book about a sad subject, but it didn't leave me feeling sad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it helps to read a book that shows you you're not alone.