This past Saturday, I skipped my college’s graduation ceremony and went to a bookstore with two friends instead. I walked up and down the aisles looking for a book about grief, grief of any kind; I wanted to flip through the pages of someone else’s sorrow so I could process my own. Just yesterday I had had the my last appointment with my therapist, L, and I could not shake my sadness. I would miss L with all my heart – his snarky laugh, how his face relaxed when he went deep into thought, the way his eyes creased when he smiled wide – but I had almost no sources of solidarity. People wrote songs, stories, and scripts about flames and flings, family members, and sometimes friends, but almost never about the relationship between therapist and client. Continue reading
Tag Archives: grief
A little less than three weeks ago, I had a rough day. Memories of J kept pulling me under, even though I knew he never spent a single second thinking about me. After hours of staring at walls and pretending to have my life together, I walked to a dorm in the middle of campus, where for some reason, I started reading my old blog posts. Then, I found this:
After reading those words, I ran to a bathroom stall, played the Teen Titans scene from my blog post on repeat, and sobbed for twenty minutes. I felt every tear like a shock of electricity running down my face; as I crouched down on the cold hard tile, my cheek pressing into the cool granite, every nerve in my body sung, as if all my emotions just then ripped through my body. Because reading my old blog post and watching that scene made me remember an important lesson, one that gave me hope: things change.
I loved the old J, the one who cared about me, the one with an honest calm, the friend who worked hard to improve himself. Continue reading
I have never felt so empty before.
A few weeks ago, J tore me apart. They told me that our friendship meant nothing to them, that caring about me made them feel like they lived a lie, that they would enjoy college more if they could forget about me. J meant so much to me, and they used that knowledge only to bludgeon me, to break me apart.
I had so much to accomplish today, with over 15 things on my to-do list. But just a few hours ago, I got a text from someone with bad news. I tried to reach out, but everyone I knew had something occupying them – a train ride, a week full of exams, their own issues, etc. – so I made the worst mistake.
I called J. Continue reading
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
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.”