Friday, September 30, 2005


I can't deal with grief. I just don't know how. There are only two occasions in my life when I saw very profound grief. Both occasions involved women, each has just lost a child. The image of a young woman sobbing on her floor will be etched into my mind for years to come.

When facing grief, poetry and philosophy have no place. Grief is solid and raw and massive.

And please, never say "it was meant to be" or "it was all for the best." Only a person who has never lost anyone he/she loved would sweep another person's grief under the carpet with such useless statements.

Euripides and Flaubert and Proust were right: that happiness always never has anything to do with the happy person's objective worthiness. The same is true for sadness. The person you see suffering neither deserved or planned for her loss.

C. S. Lewis said, "No one told me that grief feels so much life fear."

Joan Didion said, "Grief is a dark place where none of us know."

They were right. With grief, put away your clever words. Light a candle for the sufferer in a church, help her with her chores, put a pillow under her head. And never say, "I know what you're going through." Because you don't.