A few years back a close friend was taken seriously ill and to try to get a perspective on the fact of death I read Joan Didions book “The year of magical thinking”. It’s a beautiful but also devastating book in the sense that it is very precise and truthful and desperately honest about the feeling of loss and grief. She writes that “Grief takes us to a place none of us knows till we reach it” and I also felt when I read it that it took me places that I would not otherwise have gone – and in a way didn’t want to go! I had to put it down many times because it was too painful to go on reading but I always picked it up again.
Last night I started to read it again. I felt lost and without bearing and was desperately seeking some sort of perspective on things. My anger was almost eating me up inside, the anger of the utterly unfair fact that two young women where bereaved of there mother and a man of his dear wife. I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, lay on my knees and scrubbed the floors and put wash after wash in the washing machine until the anger was slowly giving way to tiredness and tears.
I spent most parts of the evening in deep thoughts. Thinking about the fact that this morning I had looked at myself in the mirror agonizing over the fact that I had gained weight again and how unimportant that seemed now. I thought about my daughters and what I wished for them in their lives and how much of our arguments and rows now appeared so trivial and insignificant and I felt almost ashamed over the silly row that my husband and I had had over the fact that he hadn’t vacuumed the house.
Reading the book again left me with an even stronger conviction that life is very precious and that we must always remember how little we know about what the future holds in store for us. We have to remember to tell our loved ones over and over again how much we love them and never ever let the sun go down on our anger.