One of my favorite books is Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. It is the real life story of loss and grief. A book I have given to many a friend who has lost a loved one.
What makes this book magical is that it talks about what triggers these emotions, in such a beautiful way. This year, has been a year of magical thinking. No, I have not lost a loved one but there has been much loss. We moved from the home where we raised our sons, we didn’t just get rid of the house, but most of everything inside…who knew that purging is loss? Our second son went off to college, our new house was truly empty, the dog died and I realized that perhaps my youth was on its way out too.
All loss but in a different way. It just chips away at you little by little, rather than in that large earthquake of loss that we experience with death. But the sadness, the feeling of loss is still there. Joan Didion writes, “we are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. as we were. as we are no longer. as we will one day not be at all.”
Loss is life, it is change, it is growth and renewal and it is hard. Whether it comes to you in an earthquake or is chipped away piece by piece it is a process that each of us must endure in our own way. This past year of loss, has once again, been a year of magical thinking.
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