Grief Without A Religious Safety Net
As a kid the nuns at Sacred Heart School beat the 'faith' right out of me. So, when my boy Jeffrey died, I discovered that most of the 'help' with grief was - to be polite - useless. What is located on the self-help shelves is pretty much all crap. And, I have spent the five plus years since Jeff died trying to sort out my life. Most importantly, I do not want to be the dead boy's father. I work at being Jim who, among very many other things, has lost his teenage son. I've had incredible help from Susan and Douglas and August who each is walking more or less the same path. I've found exactly two books worth reading (Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking and Elizabeth McCracken An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination). But Didion, McCracken & I sit on quite different branches of the family tree of grief. So, when I heard this story on NPR this morning, I felt like yelling THANK YOU! Instead, I wrote this for my friends.