There is something very sad I need to tell you before I continue with my book reviews and discussions. My last post (on Hobbes’ Leviathan) was published August 8th. That Monday morning I just had to do some finishing touches on the post before clicking Publish. A little while later my life as I knew it came to a sudden and devastating halt. I found out that my 23-year old son Jesse had died in his sleep.
My worst nightmare has happened and I am still in deepest grief and shock. I expect I will be for a long time. If you have ever heard that grief comes in waves I can confirm it is true, in my case seismic waves with the power to knock me to the ground. The foundation of my life has crumbled and the shape of my life is shifting. I have no idea what it will look like a few months from now. I only know it will never be the same as before.
The day after it happened, a few hours after meeting with the funeral director, I wrote my son’s obituary. I couldn’t bear the thought of a stranger writing it. After that I thought I would never write anything again. But within a few days I was writing. I guess as long as a writer breaths, a writer writes. This is a book blog and will remain so. But whatever I write and whatever I do, I expect it will be affected by the loss of my son. My perspective on the way I see life and its purpose has already shifted and I think this is only the beginning. I knew I would need to write a lot about Jesse so I started another site to journal about him and the experience of going through his death and it’s aftermath. In case you want to follow along with that, you can find the site here.
On this blog I will continue writing about my favorite thing: books. I just couldn’t jump back into the routine without acknowledging and being honest about the death of my son. The next book I will be writing about is a 19th-century children’s book called The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald. I began the book before Jesse died and finished it after.
I chose The Princess and Curdie because I had recently felt a sudden strong urge to read George MacDonald, which is strange on several levels. First because MacDonald’s writings introduced me into a new deeper understanding of the teachings of Christ…..almost as if I was being prepared for something. Why did I suddenly feel the urgency to read the stories and sermons of George MacDonald this summer? Second, as I began The Princess and Curdie I thought a lot about my son as a small child – how he used to love an animated version of MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin. I bought him the video because I had so loved that book as a child. My reading life has always been a spiritual journey for me and this confirms my belief that God and his angels have always been guiding me on my reading path.