Last week was one of *those* anniversaries. Not for me but for a dear friend of mine. And not the good kind of anniversary – at least not all good. Loss is never better or worse, but from the outside looking in, it’s sometimes impossible to see how an individual makes it through.
About six months after her loss, my friend began writing. She asked me for book recommendations, and I, in turn, went to Twitter. I got some excellent recommendations, but the one that touched her the most was Ann Hood’sÂ Comfort: A Journey Through Grief.Â This quote, in particular:
Grief is not linear. People kept telling me that once this happened or that passed, everything would be better. Some people gave me one year to grieve. They saw grief as a straight line, with a beginning, middle, and end. But it is not linear. It is disjointed. One day you are acting almost like a normal person. You maybe even manage to take a shower. Your clothes match. You think the autumn leaves look pretty, or enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet. Then a song, a glimpse of something, or maybe even nothing sends you back into the hole of grief. It is not one step forward, two steps back. It is a jumble. It is hours that are all right, and weeks that aren’t. Or it is good days and bad days. Or it is the weight of sadness making you look different to others and nothing helps.
She told me she repeats the first line to herself: Grief is not linear. Grief is not linear.
Our lives may be, but our pain most certainly isn’t. And making sense of it is necessary for most of us. If you’ve read something – fiction or nonfiction – that helped you cope with grief, I’d love if you’d share it here.