In my experience, the best books about grief are short. When it feels like the sky is falling, you don’t need or want lots of words. You rather need to know you’re alone and that you’re not completely losing the plot because of what you’re going through. Hence books like CS Lewis’ ‘A Grief Observed’ and Nicholas Wolterstorff’s ‘Lament For A Son’ do that, in very different ways. With eloquence and insight, reflecting on the author’s own experience of grief, showing us what it’s like for one person on the understanding that by doing so the reader gains insight into their own unique experience.
This is what Tim Tucker’s book does, and does so with similarly powerful beauty and eloquence. Reflecting on the experience of the sudden and untimely death of his wife, this is a deeply helpful and moving account of one person’s grief which provides rich reflection for anybody (that’s all of us) who also experiences loss. Tim understands, and frequently says, that everybody’s experience of loss and grief is unique; there are few rules and straight lines in these experiences. But even in acknowledging that, there’s much here that will help us make sense of some of what we experience in grief, not least in the profound and unusual ability to hold grief and joy together in tension, not as mutually exclusive but rather shedding light on each other. It’s the sort of book you’ll read and reread, want to give people and want to grow to become friends with.