Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Literature and bereavement

A friend just asked me this question

If you could name one book that would most help you through a bereavement, what would it be?

I have found bereavement to be just something that one endures, and I don't know anything that helps one get through it. Poetry in general perhaps might help.

The Earthsea books helped me to think about bereavement and death, when I was a child, and most people my age didn't seem to be interested in discussing the subject (I hadn't been bereaved, I just had a morbid turn of mind). Le Guin says (I think) that what survives in the land of the dead is just the shell of the self, the name that distinguishes the self from the whole universe - a shell which is maintained by the artificial magical system of her invented universe. But life isn't the same as the name/shell, and at death the real life of a person just slips back into the ocean of being.

What books would you recommend?

ETA - this friend said 'you can ask your livejournal friends too'.
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