Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood - Final Entry
I couldn't put the book down. Something in the words that seem to have tumbled onto the page with no rhyme or reason, here one day, two years in the future, the whole story mixed up just like grief is. Ann talks about how all the daily activities remind her of Grace and how she copes (or doesn't) with that. Her decision to have another child and finally clear out Grace's room appear in no particular order and I found myself backtracking to figure out when each event occurred. Mourning is like this. It's messy. It's filled with pain, sorrow, joy, tears, anger - all happening at different times and sometimes all at once.
The part I most resonated with was her spiritual reaction. Whenever I have gone through a difficult or traumatic event, I immediately shut God out. I get angry at him and choose to ignore him altogether. I don't want to go to church, I don't want to pray and the bible just seems like irrelevant words from a completely irrelevant millennium. I begin to think I don't even believe in him, just like Ann. Eventually I make peace with God but it's my go to reaction.
I was also struck by how Ann and her husband, Lorne, were drawn to each other through their pain. Even though they each coped in their own way, even how they approached their spirituality, whether or not they would go or not go to church, they made room for each other to grieve and mourn in their own way.
If you have gone through a major loss you will immediately identify with Ann. However, I wouldn't pass this book along to anyone who had recently lost a child. Although, I would later on, after some time had passed.
That being said, I would recommend this book to anyone to help give that person a greater sense of what it's like to lose a child. It's not just that Ann shared her story, but she let it come out into the page in the way she experienced the loss. I can't say I enjoyed the book because it's not the kind of subject that you enjoy reading about. However, I can say that I 'experienced' it and it was a good experience and I came away from it with a better understanding of mourning. It helped me see and understand some of my own losses more clearly as my experiences reflected off of Ann's.
I would give it 4/5.
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