I just finished a book that I have somewhat mixed feelings about, I don’t want to name the book because what I’m going to discuss would kinda spoil it. The thing that I enjoyed about the story is that towards the end the main character lost someone he/she loved and the novel followed him/her for a couple of years after that loss, and showed how he/she coped with it.
Now unfortunately I have lost a few individuals in my life that I love deeply and was very close to. Even if you haven’t ever lost someone close to you I am sure you have watched a movie that shows the immediate aftermath when someone dies. Everyone sad, hugs given out, support shown, crying ensues, etc, etc. Now the thing that is not always touched on is what it is like the months and years following that loss. In my case there was an accident where I lost two family members and the initial struggle was simply trying to wrap my brain around what had happened, then the chaos of setting up the funeral. Skip to 5 years later and I have learned how to live my life while at the same time appreciating what those individuals meant to me. In movies you usually see the 1st part and then it skips ahead to the last part, but I think the most difficult part was the stuff in between.
Someone told me shortly after that you have to find a “New Normal” and that seems spot on. In the years in between when I was happy it never reached the same heights of my pre-loss happiness. At times it really did seem like I was merely going through the motions. There was almost a numbness to life shortly after that. I never searched for meaning in life before the loss, but that was all I could do after. The same memories that used to give me such joy seemed to do nothing but cause me pain & heart ache. Yet as time passed joy returned to those memories, pictures no longer caused me to turn away, and certain songs no longer caused me to jump across the room to turn off the radio. I wish it could have been like a movie where within an hour I had dealt with my demons and become a better person, but as anyone who has lost someone knows it is not that short.
Even now I find it near impossible to describe in words which is why I feel the author did such a great job presenting the emotions through the main character. I felt the characters struggle and more importantly he/she didn’t live happily-ever-after and have the story fade to black with a little Disney logo hovering above it. You never truly get over the pain of losing someone, it is a everyday battle. As time goes past the battles are not as often and are not as brutal, but it is not something that ever goes away.
Again I do not want to spoil the book so I will just give you the name of the author, David Nicholls.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. – Kahlil Gibran