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Summer Reading Suggestion for Grieving Parents

In the summer I always recommend a good book.  The book I recommend this summer is Gilead by Marianne Robinson.  Gilead is book you could read over and over and draw new meaning from it each time. It is narrated by a preacher who has a child very late in life and at the age of 77 finds he is dying. This book is a letter to his son. The topic sounds morbid but it such a beautifully well written book that no matter how sad and distraught you are, it will get you back in touch with the beauty of life and of enjoying this time on earth with those you love or without those you love if they have died.  It was published a few years ago. In the book the narrator tells of marrying very young and of his wife having a stillbirth and subsequently dying.  This episode forges an immediate connection for all of us who have suffered an infant loss.  At one point he writes about what it would be like if his stillborn daughter, Louisa, who would now be 55, were to walk into his room.  “I wouldn’t recognize her.” He demonstrates something we all know: we never stop counting those birthdays or thinking about the age of our lost children for they continue to grow in our minds and in our hearts.
But this book is not about his stillborn, it is about life. He reminds us, at this fragile time in his own life, to be both loving and candid and to say things we normally hold back on to loved ones; to notice the sun setting as we play wiffle ball at night with our children and the quite noises that surround us each evening. May this book help you find hidden bits of joy in your grieving path for in every negative experience there is positive beauty hidden somewhere.  

As the narrator ponders his daughter’s 55th birthday, I ponder my Margaret’s 15th birthday which is today, August 13th, 2012.  I’m sure she would be hanging out with her  18-year –old sister and 16-year-old brother and maybe  be taking surfing lessons with her 12-year-old sister and looking slightly like her nine-year-old sister with long locks and dark brown eyes, but then again I will never truly know.  God bless you Margaret, my lovey love. Happy Birthday to you.