Monday, July 27, 2015

I Take Notes

I take notes on books I read. I wish I had done so even as a child. But. Notes trigger ideas in me, validate feelings often unexpressed or ephemeral. Answer the whys. Illuminate the squelched thoughts. Give me hope, yank me from despair.

For example:

I love this thought from P170 of The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout:

"And she learned - freshly, searchingly - of the privacy of sorrow. It was as though she had been escorted through a door into some large and private club that she had not even known existed. Women who miscarried."

Anyone who has miscarried (myself, my daughter, some friends)finds this reflection resonates. Deeply and profoundly.

It's a private club. Lifetime membership.


  1. I think "the privacy of sorrow" applies to all sorts of losses and tragedies. Almost impossible to explain to other people what you're experiencing unless they've been through something similar themselves. I know a miscarriage can be deeply distressing.

    I don't take notes on books but I sometimes write a private review of a book if it's grabbed me in some special way.

  2. I never thought of the miscarriage as loving someone who had never been born, but this is so true! Yes, I'm in the club, too. I grieved deeply, as you have. My doctor said that something was terribly wrong and that's why I miscarried. But to me, I lost a perfect, healthy baby. That baby would have been born in October of '66. In December of 67, I had my perfect, healthy baby, --Dan. When Dan was born, I was healed of my sorrow and pain, because I do believe I would not have had Dan if the other baby had been born. I still have a place in my heart for love for the baby I lost, but I can't imagine not having Dan. To this day, he is a wonderful blessing in my life. I'm so at peace to have him in my life. I know this seems too simple and if I let myself think about it a lot, there are many unanswered questions. But it's always been very special to me to have Dan in my life. Nancy

  3. I am in that club myself. Actually have a double membership. And yes, it resonates.

  4. food for thought. I am very lucky to not be part of that club, but my heart fills with pain for those of you are in that club.

  5. I hear what you are saying. However, I was brought up in a somewhat (sometimes too) robust environment. Miscarriages happened. Never shall I forget the time a neighbour, white as a sheet with panic, knocked at our door, asking for my mother. A couple of hours later my mother returned: "That one went down the toilet." I was only nine, my imagination went blood red riot.

    Many years later, in my early Twenties and as it happened visiting my parents, I passed something unidentifiable (well, it looked like a dried out frog) when going to the loo. When in doubt ask your mother (no, mine) to have a look. "That's my first grandchild going down the toilet", she said. Flush. End of story.

    Since then many babies have gone down the toilet. Since I only ever wanted one child - the one I got - I can't say I am traumatized by those who may have been. The courtesy I do them is to remember either the day I discovered I was pregnant or, better, I mark - with a fleeting thought - the day of their "estimated date of birth".


  6. I am a male and have never had to undergo the experience that you, your daughter and friends have. But I can assure you that the privacy of sorrow has been experienced by me and other males as well.


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