A Conversation in the Margins

notes scribbled in the margins
"Marginalia" photo by Shelley.

What they don’t tell you about death—or what you don’t really understand until it happens close to you—is how permanent it is. In the months afterward I kept thinking to myself, all right, I get it. This is too painful. Let’s just take a little break from the loss. Let’s have a weekend off. A day. Or an hour. Just one hour when it’s not true, when she is allowed to speak to me, or to rub an absent-minded hand through my hair. But the wall is high and fissureless. There are no breaks, no time-outs. The loss is final, and the you that you were with her is nowhere, gone.

– Blair Hurley, writing in LitHub, reflects on the loss of her mother, and how she found a path through grief by revisiting the opinions and notes scrawled in the margins of her mother’s books.

Read the full essay