I’m a huge reader. I’ve been devouring books for as long as I can remember! In fact, I run a book blog called Literary Quicksand – if you like to read, give it a follow 🙂
Anyway, I’ve turned to books quite a bit over these past couple months to try to make sense of these intense feelings of grief and loss. Here are a couple quick reviews of the ones I’ve read so far.
If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments!
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
Elizabeth McCracken is an author who, after experiencing the still birth of her first child (a son), wrote this beautiful memoir of loss, grief and hope. Her story of loss is heartbreaking, but she also writes about hope. She and her husband still wanted to have a child after their loss, so she writes about the (guarded) hope they felt for their second child, and about how terrified she was during that pregnancy. Her second child is born healthy, and brings them so much joy.
I read this one only 3-4 weeks after my loss, and reading another heartbreaking story made me feel terribly sad. However, the frank writing about grief and loss plus her story of hope was great for me to read. No matter where you’re at in your story, this is a great, honest read about McCracken’s experience with stillbirth.
A Grief Observed
This is a short, quick read by C.S. Lewis, penned after his wife died of cancer. It’s almost a stream of consciousness – he writes about his disbelief, his anger, and his struggles with God. There are some great, completely relatable quotes in it, like this one:
“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
Overall, I enjoyed this one. I’ll admit I skimmed a couple passages, but loved and thoroughly read others.
It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)
Drop what you’re doing and go to the library or book store RIGHT NOW to get this book. Nora McInerny Purmort is an amazing grief warrior, and her insights are incredibly valuable to me. She not only had a miscarriage and lost her dad, but her husband also died – all within a month. Somehow, she tells her story with grace, clarity, and even some hilarity thrown in. This one will make you both laugh and ugly cry, and everything in between. It will really make you think, and give you all the possible feels.
She has since created a podcast that I also recommend, called Terrible, Thanks for Asking. You can find articles of hers around the internet as well, like this one: Why I Quit Everything and Started a New Life After My Husband and Father Died
May Cause Love
Caution: trigger alert (abortion). This is a new release by Kassi Underwood is her story about having an abortion, being deeply affected by the loss she felt afterward, and going on a spiritual and emotional journey across the country. There are some really powerful insights in this book – I’m not quite done with it, and I’m loving it. It’s a fantastic look at grief, and how we grieve here in the States. It was a bit difficult to read about her abortion in the beginning because of my intense love for Jonah and want for a baby, but her circumstances made it easier to understand.
If you aren’t triggered too badly by abortion, I would put this one on your list. It’s been a great read so far, with powerful insights into grief.