Reading & Grief

imagesI love to read. I have loved to read ever since I spent a summer ,sitting under a tree, at the lake reading “Gone With The Wind” when I was a young girl. A good non-fiction book will get the same attention as a fiction book. I really love to read.

After my mom died, it took almost a year before I could get back to reading. A book just could not hold my focus. I acknowledged that this was part of grieving for the loss of my mom. One day I picked up a book, and I was off again.

When Jim died I once again found that I could not read. Six months after his death I started to read again. Reading fiction is my book of choice. I have tried several times to read history books, self help books or spiritual books, books I have loved to read in the pass, without success. I have temporarily lost interest.

Fiction novels, now there is a different story. I have been reading and reading and reading. I love going to the library and wandering the stacks. I never know what will catch my eye. Often I will pick up 5 or 6 books. I come home knowing that some of them may never be read. I start them and if they don’t hold my interest, back to the library they go. Sometimes I will really love a book and the writing style of that particular author. I get online and go to my local library and request the rest of that author’s books.

A few days ago I finished a novel titled “Broadchurch”. I loved it. Now I have requested the BBC television series based on this novel. I anxiously await picking up season 1 at the library.

imagesI also discovered the pleasure of audio books this summer. I loved that I could connect with the library on line and download audio books onto my iPad. Some days I got so caught up in the story I was a little disappointed when the driving day ended. A few times I found myself listening to the end of the story while I ate dinner.

My therapist strongly recommended that I do something fun and get out of the house every day. Often I will take my latest book and go to the local coffee house and read for a few hours. It is good to get out and be around people without having to converse with them. I have been going to this particular coffee house enough that they know me by name and know what I usually order (Earl Gray with Vanilla, Steeped). It has certainly become a comfort zone for me. Oh, they also have this wonderful green arm chair there that I love to sit in.

I understand that reading is an escape. It also is such a joy. I feel that if I need to escape into a good book then so be it. I am happy I am reading. Grieving shows up in the most interesting ways in my life. I have not been able to completely grasp why I stopped reading when my mom and Jim died. I believe that grief is so all encompassing that it is hard to get myself focused on something that makes me think and often feel. I believe that reading fiction is easier for me because I don’t have to think as much and I can just get carried away in the fantasy of it all. A pure and wonderful escape.

I have attempted, over the past three years, to understand this process I am going through. So much of it is a mystery. I think I am done with it and then, there it is again. Maybe when I start reading non-fiction again it will mark another passage through grief.

Meanwhile, anyone have any good books to recommend?

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Reading & Grief

  1. Janet,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on grieving. I have had a similiar experience.
    I needed to drop a class due to lack of retaining what I studied. Never had this happen before the death of a family member.

    I would recommend reading “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff. A fictional story of people and their loves and lost. The emotions are helpful to heal the griefing.

    Janet, please keep writing and I’ll follow.
    Best Wishes,
    Bill
    Solo Rv Traveler

  2. I love being able to lose myself in a book. Being able to forget reality and immerse myself into a different word. Months after my husband died I found reading was my way of being able to get through each. I spent a good twelve months doing not much at all but reading.

    It’s been months now and I don’t seem to be able to pick up a book. I’ve tried a few times but they just don’t seem to be able to hold my concentration. I hope that changes again soon. Happy reading!

  3. The Pink Carnation series. Sabriel. Harry Potter. Maisie Dobbs. The Queen’s Man
    Lord Peter Whimsey. Father Brown by C.K Chesterton.

  4. My all time favorite book (great fun to read aloud) is THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster.
    Hugs to you,
    Leslie from alaska
    P.s. rent the british series THE VICOR OF DIBLEY from netflix for a bundle of belly laughs if you like british humor.

  5. My favorite to read, is by Diana Galbaldon, The Outlander series…..they have even produced a series on TV off of these books. It is about time traveling but it is written in a great way that it doesn’t seem so far-fetched! She includes humor, history, romance & comedy. Hope you can soon get back in the swing of reading!

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