A Place of No Return

My Commentary on the Book Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking affected me so deeply that the words to express it seem insufficient. I will do my best to explain. Didion writes, “grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it”. She continues by saying that we anticipate death and we expect that when it comes, we will be melancholic. We however fail to see past the few days following a death. We think only of the loss in the moment it occurs and the ritualistic events that follow like the gathering of guests at the home, and the funeral. Didion suggests the mourning and grieving process after the demise of a loved one does not follow the ideals we have bought into. You do not necessarily mourn their death, then grieve for a month or so as you gradually heal. We are incapable of imagining or understanding wholly, “the unending absence that follows”, “the void” when we lose those dearest to us.

The Year of Magical ThinkingAt the risk of revealing too much of myself and altering Didion’s work as I apply her memoir to my life, I will share a personal experience. Until 2018 I had been fortunate in my adult life not to experience the loss of a close family member or friend. I specify adult life because there were deaths in my childhood, but I was too young to make sense of them.

Continue reading “A Place of No Return”

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
“Today, he’s gone home….he no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages” Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

Last Thursday we lost a great man, a hero like no other. An icon who dedicated his being to bettering the lives of others. He struggled, suffered and fought so that we would see a brighter future. He fought so that you and I, could learn to love one another. So that we could accept even those who are different from what we know. He challenged us to embrace our differences.

This great hero, Continue reading “A Tribute to Nelson Mandela”