Tag Archives: death

One Year of Grief, Still Got Some Tears Left to Cry

My grandmother passed away last year on December 20. Sometimes I shrug off her death. “Yeah, she was like my actual mother, so it’s sad,” I’ll say to a friend, “but it’s fine, like I’m fine overall.” I like to use the word “fine” a lot, because it helps me avoid how not fine it is to lose the person who had loved you the most. Or I’ll point to my planner and say, “Yeah, it’s tough, but I did this therapy session, and this research meeting, and that class reading, so it’s okay. Sad, but okay.”

But sometimes grief and loss and mourning are not okay, and no matter how much I want to embody put-togetherness, I just have to feel that shit, that not-okay-ness. Continue reading

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Personal

Grief Lessons

I did not expect my grandmother’s death in December to bring so much of the pain from my past losses back to life. On a lot of days, my grief spills over into other parts of my heart, reawakening the devastation I felt from the loss of L, the therapist I stopped seeing last May, as well as the sadness of missing my close friends and mentors from undergrad.  I always knew that grief would take me on a curving, misery-laden path – no linear progressions, no easy fixes, no strong emotions that just fade into weaker ones over time – but you still feel heartbreak even if you prepare for it. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Personal

A Death in the Family

My grandmother passed away last Wednesday. I stayed with her in the hospital a few times in the days leading up to her death , though she had been sick for awhile at that point. She had Parkinson’s disease. Over the last few years, she lost the ability to walk. Over the last couple of months, she lost the ability to breathe without the help of a machine. Despite this physical decay, I have a clear picture to remember her by from an earlier time in her life: when she raised me, protected me, and loved me unconditionally.  Continue reading

25 Comments

Filed under Personal

Stop Reading This

And if you know someone who’s grieving, do not say: “Call me if you need anything.”

In my most recent short story, the main character, an adolescent male named Luca, jumps off the roof of his high school after hearing about his best friend’s death. He feels responsible for her passing, which contributes to his suicide attempt. Luca has a lot of emotional problems; he wrecks havoc amongst his peers to satisfy his twisted sense of morality. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Personal

Facing Death, Choosing Strength

My grandfather has stopped eating, and I feel nothing.

I grew up with my grandparents; I shared the basement of my house with them. I remember sleeping with my grandmother as a toddler, the way I would hold her hand and rub the skin between her fingers as I closed my eyes. Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Personal

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On the surface level, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about the death of a girl’s best friend. But, because that would be too easy, it’s much deeper. Vera Dietz, the girl in question, has spent a solid portion of her life in love with Charlie Khan – the same boy she hung out with when she was a kid. Then high school happens, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Vera comes to hate Charlie; however, when Charlie dies in a devastating way, will she be willing to clear his name?

Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn’t an easy read. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

 

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Eddie Reeves’ father committed suicide, but she doesn’t know why. There seems to be no reason – he was a famous artist, a talented photographer, and had a loving family, most importantly, her. While entrenched in her grief Eddie meets Culler, his former student. They form a dangerous attraction and embark on a mission to piece together the broken picture of her father’s death.

Another powerful book by Courtney Summers. Like a punch in the stomach, Fall for Anything surprises the reader, seizing them and forcing them to feel Eddie’s anguish. I think the writing – and the emotions evoked by the writing – were enough to justify giving this book 3.5 stars, even though I’m not sure if I actually liked it at all.

I did not like the plot in this one as much as Summers’ first two novels. Sure, if one of my family member’s passed away I would be overcome with despair and angst, but I do not think I would travel around with some strange twenty-year-old who randomly takes pictures of me. I also predicted the twist about halfway through the novel, which may have lessened my enjoyment when it occurred.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll end this review by saying that I wish Summers’ had focused more on the aspect of recovery rather than the descent into depression Eddie experienced.

Here are two quotes from the beginning of the novel that exemplify Summers’ writing talent:

“I imagine diving under, swimming down, down, down with my eyes open and not being able to see anything in front of me. Not even my hands. I imagine forcing myself farther down, until I feel weeds everywhere, brushing the sides of my arms, my feet, and then I’m surrounded. Tangled up in them so bad the lake would have me forever. I imagine drowning and what that would feel like, if I’d be scared. If I’d let it happen or if I’d fight it. I read in a book once you can’t drown yourself. Your body will fight to survive, whether you want to or not.

But I don’t think it’s the same when you jump.”

“Sometimes I feel hunted by my grief. It circles me, stalks me. It’s always in my periphery. Sometimes I can fake it out. Sometimes I make myself go so still, it can’t sense that I’m there anymore and it goes away. I do that right now.

I go so still the thing inside me doesn’t know I’m there anymore.”

Leave a comment

Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books