People who “get it”

A while back, I read and loved “When Breath Becomes Air,” a memoir written by a neurosurgeon with terminal lung cancer. This week, Greg told me that he had seen an article about the author’s widow, Lucy Kalanithi (who is also super accomplished). Lucy had become friends with Nina Riggs, a young poet who was dying of breast cancer and wrote a book about her experience. The book is called “The Bright Hour,” and it also has received rave reviews.

Long story short, after Nina died, her husband, John, sought advice from Lucy, and they began corresponding by email. They had that instant connection of the grieving, the realization that on the worst days of your life, the person who most understands you is a stranger. It’s worth reading the whole story here because it will make your heart swell. I love when they talk about keeping alive the memory of their spouses. John says: “Talking about your person is such a strong urge. You want to keep them present for yourself and your kids.”

Have any of you read “The Bright Hour”? I’m planning to, though I’m reluctant to slide down that steep, dark grief tunnel right now. Maybe I’ll save it for July.

In a similar vein, Eleanor and I saw “Coco” a few days ago. Based on the preview, I thought the movie was about a boy who loved guitar music, which didn’t leave me racing to the theater. But the story was much more about family, our connection to the past, and the importance of talking about and remembering those who have died. The whole film takes place on Dia de Muertos, and I walked away feeling like Mexican society just seems to “get it” much more than American society. By “get it,” I mean that they understand that talking about people who have died feels better, even happier, than pretending to move on, as we’re taught to do here.

The animation was as incredible as the story line. Leave it to Pixar to make skeletons beautiful.

3 thoughts on “People who “get it”

  1. I wish I’d taken my kids to see Coco. I kinda want to go by myself, but I’ll probably just be my frugal self and wait until it’s out on Redbox…

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