Just finished reading the book Option B. Felt very connected with it as I could see many personal strands of me come back to life… Some books start revealing itself more when you put them down. Option B is one such book. Thanks Sheryl, Thanks Adam!
I lost my dad when I was 16 or 17 and my sister was 11 and I could relate to (in first person) so much of what Sheryl talks about in the book. I still remember the day and I am sure each one of us while in grief would have taken the news in such different ways.
I remember even as we grieved, my mom took the strength to get our life back on track in a few weeks after my dad’s demise. Not agreeing to continue in the darkness of grief, she started back at work and I remember her mentioning how tough it was, but she knew… that she had to continue living and be an example.
I always knew it was tough, but I think I will never know how it impacted her the way it did. At least when I read Option B, I am able to see a few things more clearly, after all this 30 plus years. That huge uncertainty that lies ahead and in a society where still there were people who hold a stigma when you bounce forward and not act widowish enough.
But I also have regrets as I was never a considerate good kid growing up. One that I would have wanted me to be looking back. I think, I could have done so many things differently so life could have been much easier for her. But it is a fact that we cannot reverse time and all we have is the future.
But as I write this my mom is still there and I am able to call and talk to her and meet her. And I know that not everyone will be as fortunate like me, to make amends when realization comes. There are many times when time defeats you. So this Mother’s day when I spoke to her, I had Sheryl’s Option B in my mind.
As a son while even today I miss him, I can say for sure that I cannot fathom what my mom would have gone through. At the same time I also realize that there are countless others in similar situation who have more odds stacked against them than us.
As Victor Frankl says ‘ Pain is like a gas and it fills the whole chamber and it does not matter the quantity of gas, it always fills a chamber.” We all fail in understanding other people’s grief as we do ours.
The details in Option B of how people try avoid talking about a tragedy, when you so much want someone to talk about it and then how you grow up to make a joke within the context of the tragedy and how it surprises people. We all move in life, or should and again I quote three things what I have learned from my dad.
- Time will heal everything
- My biggest asset are my kids (to someone who asked what assets you have)
- Take time to be still and think because everyone in the world is moving.
Just like how it was for Sheryl, even for my mom, it was a sudden unexpected change in life. One fine morning the person with whom she lived is not there anymore. The life and responsibilities ahead like a never ending path.
My memories I often offload through my blogs like letters to my dad on a Father’s day and when I first realized that I had spend more time without him than with him and then a Poem on Remembering Dad. and the same way I continue expressing my gratitude to my mom. And still I know I will not ever be able to gauge what she would have gone through.
This is not really a review, but to just look back on my life after I read it. Isn’t that books are for….