Books as Therapy, or maybe just Jeff

“I wish our love was enough to keep whole the people we love.”  – Jeff Zentner, In the Wild Light

I finished Zentner’s latest novel on August 16th, I might have finished at my desk at work, don’t tell anyone.  I have written about this guy before, I also posted a screen shot of the above quote (yes, I am still kinda of on Facebook) with the words, “Jeff Zentner does it again…breaks my heart.” 

I followed that post up with 4 more screen shots including the following quotes:

“This is what you remember of the people you love when they’re gone – the ways they knew you that no one else did – even you.  In that way, their passing is a death of a piece of yourself.”

“Delaney told me once that when you burn to death, there comes a point when you don’t feel anything anymore because your nerves die…I think that’s maybe what happens when people say it gets better – more dying to ease the pain.”

“Turns out it’s like the people you love are riding a teeter-totter across from you. And when they’re gone, you plummet down and have a hard time getting back up.  You never reach the heights you used to.” 

“Dead, deceased, departed, disappeared, done, ended, expired, finished, gone, left, lost, passed…Not one expresses the completeness of the idea it represents, the way apple represents the completeness of an apple and river represents the completeness of a river.  They all leave something unsaid.  They all have some phantom limb that reminds you of their lack.” 

I knew he would be inspiration for a bookworm, but I waited a week to decide what direction I would go in; would I discuss great quotes again or would I talk about how he described grief in such a real way for me?  I decided to blend those two things in to one; books as therapy. 

Reading Jeff is therapy for me, with great quotes and beautiful descriptions of grief, I feel heard without saying a word and it is like a soothing balm for my raw soul.  I have lost too many people in the last few years, I am still broken, and I am struggling with finding peace in this world.  I am doing all the things I need to do to get better, but it just hasn’t clicked into place yet.  You can feel a lot of guilt and embarrassment for being stuck emotionally and physically, and sometimes you just need quiet understanding, reading can do this job. 

Isn’t that great?  For absolutely free, a person can feel better by just reading a book.  Mind you, the better might come with some tears, but all great therapy breaks you first.  After the storm, there is a calm, a peace and understanding that you are not alone.  Zentner gave that too me, with just a few words he recognized and validated my feelings of sorrow.  All by my lonesome, at my breakfast table, I read and shared those words about grief because I wanted everyone to not only understand me, but to know that it is okay.  It is okay, that “their passing is a death of a piece of yourself…you never reach the heights you used to” and all the words “…leave something unsaid…some phantom limb that reminds you of their lack.” 

If you have never felt this way from reading a book, might I suggest Jeff?  How about I leave you with a quote from another one of his books, ““If you’re going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”
– Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King 

Yep, he is just great, by far the best therapist I have ever had. 

Upcoming Events: 9/1 Story Time at 10am, 9/6 CLOSED, 9/7 Book Club at 6:30pm, Genealogy Club will be meeting later TBA, and an Adult Reading Challenge will be starting on September 1st (check Facebook, or swing by the library for more information)