Friday, January 30, 2009

Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

Ann's Words

"Slowly, slowly, I began to tell my own story of loss and grief and hope. You know how that first day at the beach when the ocean water is still so cold, you dip your toes in, then run out? Next try, you get up to your ankles before you run? Then up to your calves, your thighs, until finally you are waist deep and you can dive in head first? That is how I wrote COMFORT. I wrote a little, then retreated. A little more, a little more, until I was able to dive in. "

"I did not know what to do with her Christmas stocking, the one with the angel on it and her name sewn in my crooked attempt to use a needle and thread. I did not know how to celebrate a New Year without her. And on the first anniversary of her death...."
"...My Body cannot move. I am paralysed."
... " I used to wake in a panic that I had forgotten even one detail about her, or that I would forget someday."

My Thoughts

These words above that I have quoted from Ann Hood's book or her website...I have felt them all too ever since my baby died.
I must give proper thanks to Steve Colca of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc....who offered to send me this book after I added him on Twitter. He very sweetly asked me first if this would be a welcome gesture and after I assured him that it was he sent me this book and The Knitting Circle.
Most of my blogging buddies on here know that I myself have been on a grief journey. My son Nicholas (15) died just over 2 years ago on October 30th, 2006. Ever since that heart has stopped beating. Ann's book took me down that road again...she took me back to the anguish and fear and shock that I felt that day. Her book broke my heart again but it also felt cathartic to cry as I relived my own last moments with Nick.
She manages to describe almost exactly the way that I felt about losing my Nicky when she speaks about losing her Grace.
She describes in minute detail all the platitudes that people say to you as a newly bereaved mother. "She/he has gone to a better place." (Are you kidding me?)
"God must have wanted them" (Not as much as I did!)
"I understand what you must be feeling." (Unless you have lost a child you don't!) and she also speaks about the weirdness that people feel around you. I myself have experienced people ducking behind stores, displays and bushes just to avoid speaking with me. Do they really think that we don't notice?
I have also felt people's impatience with me when I can't get out of bed sometimes to go into work because I am having a really bad day about missing him and I don't want to go on anymore. They are also impatient with me because they are tired of 'being reminded of my tragedy!" I work with a woman like that.
I am never sure how to deal with people like that but as my husband reminds me...that is their problem not mine. I have enough on my plate already.
Thank you Ann Hood for writing this book about your loss. I know that you wrote it just for me...didn't you? It feels like it anyway!



Dar said...

I have this book reserved at the library and I haven't lost a child but have lost close family members and my best friend. I enjoy Ann Hood's writing and I'm looking forward to reading it.

I agree with your husband. People who can't understand your pain or who don't want to bothered aren't worth your time. Getting over a loss has no time limit-it just is. You have every right to feel as you do and nobody should make you feel otherwise.

I imagine this book was really difficult for you but I'm glad you felt it helped you in a way also.

BooksandWool said...

Nothing to say my friend but A HUGE HUG FOR YOUR HEART AND YOUR STRENGTH.

Toni said...

I could never even begin to know the pain you are enduring..but I get comfort in knowing that there are nice people out there that will share a book and wonderful writers to write books to help cope. This was a sad but very helpful post. I hope others that need comfort will read and find some. hugs......