Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

This was a memoir of a lady in the year after her daughter falls terribly ill in the hospital and is in a coma and 6 days later her husband dies. This total and complete loss can resonate with all of us. I don't know how I would deal with this sort of tragedy. She makes it through helping her daughter get well and then deals with her second significant illness that year. But through the book, she realizes that she is having what she calls magical thinking. She can't get rid of her husbands shoes because her subconscious says that he can't come back if he doesn't have any shoes to come back to. She goes through these stages of grief and it really resonates that this cannot be anything but the way that grief is. I cried numerous times throughout the book. I imagined how I would feel in the same situation, I grew with her. One of the things that I got out of the book the most was that while everyone says that you will grow into a new person due to these traumatic events, the author doesn't feel that to be the case. Maybe a different person but not one that grew. I think that is the way that I would be too.

Have you lost someone close to you?
What stages of grief did you go through and how long did it take for you to feel like you were actually living your life again?
How did you move through that oppressive weight on your chest that makes you feel like you can't breathe?

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