Life’s That Way
by Jim Beaver
Life’s That Way should be an Oprah book club choice.
I’ve long been a Jim Beaver fan via the TV show, Supernatural, but, neglectfully, had never researched him to discover that he is also a writer.
This book is one to be read in small doses.
It is the unembellished near-nightly emails that Mr. Beaver shared with an ever-expanding group of family and friends when his wife, Cecily, was diagnosed with cancer. It takes us through the journey of her treatment for the six or so months leading up to her death and then beyond, into the story of survival.
It is hard to read this book because for anyone who has experienced intense grief, his open, Band-Aid-has-been-pulled-off, writing style digs directly into your heart and makes you feel. All over again or anew or still or wherever your heart is in your grieving. You will ride those waves again and identify with his descriptions of loss and courage and succumbing to your emotions over and over.
My edition has dog-eared pages, highlighted passages and dated notes scribbled in the margins. One phrase repeatedly resounds, “…nothing I’ve picked up from the grief of others in the course of my life has prepared me for what this feels like.” I couldn’t agree more.
Another passage that struck with full force is:
“But I recall thinking then that the loneliest place on earth was an empty house from which someone had deliberately left you. Not true. The loneliest place on earth is an empty house from which someone was taken from you.”
In chapter twelve, he speaks of pushing himself to listen to a passage of music that had been a favorite shared with his wife. Of making himself do it, to get through it, to get to the other side. In living through loss in my life, I discovered, too, this need to push on, to succumb to the emotions, the grief as it coursed through my heart and physically through my body. It is the way to survive grief that wrecks your heart.
If you are brave, read this book.
If you are stuck in a place of loss or grief, read this book.
If you are close to someone going through the death of a loved one, read this book and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a new way to help them see that Life’s That Way.