When people we love die, we think we'll remember everything about them. What they used to say and do, their wisdom, their voice, their smell.
The harsh reality is that time is a thief. Some memories fade quickly. Others are like water. No matter how hard we grip and try to hold on they still slip away.
In her book All At Sea– Decca Aitkenhead reacts to the childhood loss of her mother by painstakingly recording the death of her husband and her personal journey through grief. When her husband died, she vowed that she wouldn't forget him the way she had forgotten her mother. Quite simply, she wrote it down before time stole it away.
When we encourage people who are suffering the loss of someone they love to write things down, it is for good reason. While in grief, these memories are like a razor- sharp and unforgiving. Relentless in their detailed assault; all consuming, painful and unpredictable.
Writing or recording these thoughts and memories alleviates the need to hold on so tightly. Knowing they are now safely recorded can be just the release we need to move forward.
For anyone struggling with the loss of a loved one, you will find a kindred spirit in Decca Aitkenhead. https://www.amazon.com/All-at-Sea-Decca-Aitkenhead/dp/0385540655
More about the book ALL AT SEA
“Asensational, devastating story … All at Sea is more than the recounting of a freak accident and its consequences. It is a thoughtful and provocative rumination on love, family and grief. Where When Breath Becomes Air offered a dying man’s perspective on mortality, All at Sea offers a widow’s perspective on survivor’s guilt … A bracing and valuable reminder of the vagaries of fate that can leave you feeling unaccountably grateful—not only for your own relative serendipity, but for the wisdom borne of Aitkenhead’s grit.”