Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Unavoidable Grief

"Will Wonders Never Cease" told an intensive story of a fifteen year old named Kyle on the brink of starvation and hypothermia stuck beneath a freak avalanche. He struggles between longing for relief from his suffering and desiring to experience more of life like dating, school and even a mission. A large, if not the most present, concept in the novel is the inevitability of death and its contemplative nature. However, I was drawn to another inevitable concept: grief. The workings of grief have been at the forefront of my mind lately. Within in a year, my hometown has suffered three unexpected deaths, all of whom attended my church building. One was a middle-aged mother who had a brain aneurism, the second was a 19 year old boy who was hit by another boy and fell back at hit his head and the third, happening two days ago, was a member of the neighboring ward's bishopric who had a heart attack. Each time I was told about these deaths, I felt overcome with grief though only personally knowing one. How does one deal with the grief when it is your child, spouse, sibling, etc.? I honestly do not know, it is hard for me to think about. This question is addressed in the character of Lucille. She allowed herself to grieve. She allowed herself to cry. Yet, she endured. She endured through her faith, her family, and her love for her son.

Most of the literature we have read deals with some degree of grief. In "Dispirited", both Blake and Cathy have suffered the loss of a parent. In "The Seventh Son", the Alvin's family loses a brother and a son. Yet the story of their lives continues. Because life always continues, right? I think Kyle realizes this. Life will continue when he dies bringing him a degree of sadness. I think Lucille realizes this as well. Life will continue with her son gone and she can either endure with it or not. How you choose to endure through that kind of extreme grief I don't know but my deepest respect extends to those who do.
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  1. Grief is definitely a prominent topic in literature and it's hard to wrap your head around. I like how the novels we've read that deal with this issue all show the family continuing, but they also show that the family is never the same. After loss you do move on, but life is never the same. It doesn't return to your old normal, just a different normal where grief plays a prominent role.

  2. I like that you picked out a specific aspect of the novel that wasn't as apparent as the themes of death and survival, or even building faith. I think it was interesting that he imagined everyone grieving and then moving on. Imagining people moving on from my death is hard for me, though I know it is alright and healthy for people to do so. Perhaps this was one of his very very few more mature moments.

  3. It seemed like Kyle was able to work through his grief not only about the possible loss o his own life, but also the death of his brother that had happened previously. I guess being stuck alone in the dark for a week and a half is conducive to pondering. :)