Thinking About Loss
I recently read a very moving article in the New Yorker magazine. “The Lingering of Loss” was written by Jill Lepore, about the death of her best friend from graduate school and how she finally found the courage to deal with the laptop her friend had left her. In her article, Lepore shares the raw feelings associated with her friend’s death and the poignant, but happy memories of their shared lives that remain.
I subsequently read an article by Frank Bruni written for the New York Times on July 3, 2019. He discusses Lepore’s article and describes remembrances of his mother and how eagerly she anticipated the birth of her second grandchild as she approached her own end of life. Both articles reminded me that “loss” is much more than the process of losing something, or the void that follows. Both Lepore and Bruni talk about moving forward through the years feeling that void, but also the warmth and joy of keeping the precious memories, life stories and values of that person alive not only in their own lives but for future generations.
I’d like to share with you a quote from Bruni”s article, in which he is talking about his mother’s love for her grandchildren. “Frank graduated from college weeks ago. Leslie graduated a year earlier. And Mom has seven other grandchildren who came along after they did, grandchildren she never met. But they know her. They know her well, because we tell them all about her all the time. We keep her alive. It’s not just loss that lingers. So do memories. So does love.”