We will all lose someone at some point. This book is a painfully beautiful portrait of grief.

The Year of Magical Thinking.

By Joan Didion.

Joan lost her husband and her daughter in the same year.

This book is the result of a talented novelist allowing her readers to have a candid insight into how one tries to live after tragedy.  This book is full of hope and pain and wit and agony and love.  There are no platitudes, just observations as Joan tries to make sense of her new reality:

Later I realized that my immediate thought had been: But I did the ritual.  I did it all.  I did St. John the Divine, I did the chant in Latin, I did the Catholic priest and the Episcopal priest… And it still didn’t bring him back.

I firmly believe that we can learn from other’s experiences.  That by allowing ourselves to walk through someone else’s pain, we become a bit wiser and more compassionate to others and to ourselves.

I have read this book twice and plan to re-read it many times over in the future.

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