A Nova Scotia–based writer and photographer offers ruminations about grief by a mother who lost a son.
When Inglis’ (If I Were a Zombie, 2016, etc.) twin boys were born prematurely, one lived and one died after several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. The author intertwines reflective meditations and memories of her experience with her tenets on grief that she has accrued from the years living with her ever present pain and sense of loss. “I’ve been falling for years,” she writes, “scrambling up again, sorting out in fits and spurts, freshly sorted reasonings collapsing in on themselves to make space for new wrack. I worry any mandate of mine is fresh paint on rotten wood.” In a text geared primarily toward those who have struggled with the unthinkable loss of a child, Inglis shares how she coped, joining marches and giving speeches, getting angry at well-meaning friends, and dealing with the depression that afflicted her. Through her intense grief, she learned to understand what it means to be alive, and she effectively shares her insights with readers: “As the only animals who know we will die, how should we live? This is the sweet and futile agony. It’s where every inner monologue comes from….Somehow, despite knowing loss will happen to us—and that our own ashes will someday be inside an urn on the lap of somebody who loved us—it’s still incomprehensible.” At times, Inglis gives her misery free rein, forcing readers to suffer alongside her as she relives the all-too-brief weeks she had with her son. In other passages, her wisdom rings out strong and clear and will strike a chord with anyone who has lost a loved one.
An emotional and thought-provoking mix of poetic prose, memories, and beliefs on death, loss, and grief.