I really enjoyed all of these essays. All of these stories deal with losing people in your life. My favorite two were the Sedaris and Strayed stories. I like both of these because they were very realistic and I could picture these situations really happening. I liked how Sedaris’ story was comical at times, but shows how families are dysfunctional and rarely perfect. I felt bad for this family, but realized that this was how they were and no family is perfect, by far. I really felt bad for the mother, I couldn’t picture a mother not wanting to tell her son that she loves him too after Sedaris said he loved her. Coming from an affectionate family it seemed strange to me, but other families operate differently. I just wanted the mother to reach out and show some emotion, but I think it was important in this story to show that people deal with difficult situations in their own way. Many times in this story I found myself laughing out loud, but also wishing the family could have a moment of affection.
Strayed’s story shows us that sometimes people may never be the same after losing a loved one. The five steps of grieving may not help everyone to overcome a tragedy in their life. The question Strayed raises about choosing four people on a boat really made me think of the most important people in my life. Who would I choose in my life if I could only choose four and the rest would disappear? That’s a difficult question and I’m still not positive who would fill those four spots. Strayed’s husband loved her and wanted to help her, but that wasn’t enough and she slept around with random men. I think this is important because their marriage was great and she still dealt with her grieving by being unfaithful. At first I question why she would do that to her loving husband? Then I thought about it and it made perfect sense, humans are irrational and do not make sense. She felt the need to sleep with many men that she didn’t have feelings for in order to cope with her mother’s death. Maybe she was afraid to get close to another person fearing something may happen to her husband, she chose to take comfort in people she didn’t care about. In any case, both of these stories intrigued me because of the realistic components that show how humans really do act, even if it’s not right. I like how at the end she says this isn’t fiction and the story isn’t going to have a perfect ending; this is so true no one has a story with a perfect fairytale ending. I liked being able to visualize the characters in both of these stories and the plots unfolding.
The Beards story was interesting, but seemed not as realistic as some of the other stories. When reading this story it seemed as though the author was dreaming or something. But maybe the author wanted it to be told in that manner. I thought it was sad when she could tell that her husband didn’t love her anymore while he was trying to console her. At the end it seemed like everyone important in her life was fading away: the collie, her husband, Chris and her co-workers. I like at the end how she says we are in the plasmapause and a place of equilibrium, and gives the visual of a place of stillness where she is currently in her life.
The Richards story was beautifully written and I loved the descriptive language. This made me think about people in my life that are getting older and how I would deal with situations like these. Fortunately, my grandparents are all with it for the most part so I cannot identify with this, but it must be awfully sad. Also, I cannot imagine in the future having to take care of my parents with this type of illness. My parents are very young looking and they do not age to me. Seeing small signs of them aging freaks me out, so I cannot imagine having to experience their memory totally disappearing. This story is very realistic in the fact that people are either experiencing this or experiencing a loved one going through this type of illness.
I enjoyed all of these readings. They all had similar subject matters dealing with loss of people and important things in these people’s lives. None of these stories have happy endings which I like because real life rarely ends happily ever after.