Saturday, March 28, 2015

more sweet than bitter



I made a recent bittersweet visit to Brooklyn
during which my dear father-in-law died.


From 2006-2010 I experienced the death of my father, mother, stepmother and best friend.
So I've learned certain things about the process of grieving,
but it's different every time and for everyone.


My father was first. I was alone with him when he died.
It was profound. Since then I've tried to remember the idea of living 
every day as though it's my last. Which I don't do literally,
but I've made some changes with that in mind.


One thing is arranging my life so I have more time to read.
The bliss of having entire evenings to do nothing but read,
for five or six or seven hours straight!
(except for occasional tea/cookie/cat breaks)
We all have our own ideas of living life to the fullest.
(And why didn't I become a librarian?)

25 comments:

  1. I'm really sorry for your losses, Jen. We do lose more people we care about the older we get. It's a given. I think about dying a lot, too. Tick, tick, tick.

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  2. 2013-14 was our year when losses seemed to pile up. I never seem to get beyond the anger and confusion until it fades on its on.
    If you'd been a librarian you wouldn't have so much time to read!
    Sending a hug.

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    1. "anger and confusion" yes, it puts us in these strange states of mind,,,

      Ha I logged in so many hours as a lawyer (with three kids).Hard to believe a librarian would have been more taxing. Do you think working as a librarian would have exposed me to the seamy underbelly of the book world and my pleasure in reading would have been ruined? :-)

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    2. maybe the seamy underbelly of publishing, but your reading could never be ruined.
      How about a used book shop?

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  3. I'm sorry about your father in law !!

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  4. Sympathy for the loss of your father-in-law. My time of loss was between 2000-2010, and Dad was the first. I too was with him, it is a moment that's profound, no other word.
    Your observation that each grief is different is spot on - as individual as that person was.
    I'm glad that you are taking time to read,read, and read. Our books are part of our life's archives, aren't they?
    Mary

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    1. I appreciate your thoughts, Mary.

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  5. Hello Jen, How sad that so many of these grieving experiences had to come so close together. You obviously do live a full life full of meaning to you, which I think does honor those you have lost.

    Librarians spend much of their day employing business and organizational skills, and from what I hear don't often get that much time for reading. I think a better fantasy job would be as a professor of literature in some small college--although that scenario could just as easily turn into a soap opera.
    --Jim

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jim. Literature professor at a small college would be dreamy! Or maybe a book reviewer.

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  6. My condolences Jen. It is hard but a part of life unfortunately. I've lost a lot of loved ones during my life and it never gets easier but it does pass as I'm sure you know. I think it always makes us reflect on our own life when we lose someone, it's normal. You would have been fired as a librarian reading all day long instead of shussing people.

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    1. Ha, you are right on every point! :-)

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  7. I"m so sorry, Jen. That's quite a lot of loss in a short period of time. I've seen a few friends go through the loss of their parents and I've seen it's harder than one might imagine. I guess it's the way it's "supposed" to be and perhaps its purpose is to make us appreciate our remaining days a little bit more.

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    1. Some of my friends lost their parents before my Dad died, and I didn't understand how hard it was. And each time it's different. With my dad it was the shock of absence as well as missing him. With my mom, I had a difficult relationship, and I wished I'd made more of an effort. And so on…

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  8. My condolences, Jen. That's a tough run of losses. I was taken by your comment about being alone with your father when he died and how it was profound. I had the same experience with my mother. Since she and I were so close, it meant everything to me to be there with her when she left. It was peaceful and yes, profound.

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    1. I remember your posts about your mother. What an amazing woman. I'm so glad you were with her.

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  9. That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

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  10. That is a lot to deal with, Jen. I like that you took inventory after those experiences and chose to adjust your life to make it the best it can be. We only pass this way once. Inspiring. Thank you.

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  11. I'm sorry, Jen. that said, I'm with you. the solitary pleasure of reading a good book. can you imagine on how many lives we would have missed out on if it wasn't for our love of books?

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    1. Thanks so much, fellow reader!

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  12. I´m sorry, Jen. My parents are still alive and it feels hard to imagine life without them.

    I wish I had more time to read!

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