I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Good Grief

I’m reading a novel that a friend recommended to me several years ago called Good Grief by Lolly Winston. It’s about a 36-year old widow named Sophie who is coping with the loss of her husband to cancer. She often uses humor to get through the day, but as is the case with all good humor, it’s cloaked in truth. I’m only about a third of the way into the book, but I can already tell it’s going to stick with me long after I read it.

I’ve been thinking about one specific passage from the book: “I remember that when I got home from Ethan’s memorial service I couldn’t believe the house was still there. How could the clocks tick? How could the air-conditioning run? How could there be mail in the box? The relentless soldiering on of the world hurt my feelings.”

I can understand why the relentless soldiering on of the world hurt her feelings. She wanted the world to stop, if only for a brief moment, and acknowledge her loss. The fact that it didn’t even seem to notice, let alone stop, got to her. But imagine how she would have felt if nobody had shown up for the memorial service?

Some people consider rituals like anniversary parties, funerals, birthday parties, graduations and the like to be just another thing to check off the to-do list on a busy Saturday afternoon. They are so much more than that. Rituals are but a reminder of a specific truth—not the truth itself. But having loved ones around for the reminders makes truth easier to bear when it involves difficulty and it sweeter when it involves celebration.


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