So I was at the newsagent to buy a 2 ring binder to replace the 3 ring binder which, when I bought it, I was sure was a 2 ring binder, but anyhoo and moving on, at the newsagent, I saw Caroline Jones’ book, through a glass darkly: a journey of love and grief with my father and I bought it.

Even though I was on the way to the bottle shop to buy (yet) another bottle of Langhorne Creek Bernoota (cannot recommend it highly enough) for the purchase of which I did not need to seek my husband’s permission, I sat in the carpark and opened the book and there, in the introduction, I read this:

“I was unprepared for my own grief and for the extent to which it disabled me….the main quality of my condition was uncertainty. It was difficult to make decisions. I found it hard to know what mattered. My sense of meaning was shaken and I was unclear about my purpose. I put on a good face and I made myself do everything as usual, but my heart wasn’t in it. I felt very sad most of the time and sometimes I was angry. What most people talked about seemed very trivial. I felt that I was behind a pane of glass on the other side of which people’s lives went on. But I was not part of that life.

I now have come to think of grief as a sort of severe illness, bordering at times on derangement; an illness that dislocated me physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually…

…Suffering, loss and grief are facts of life for everyone, although I am sure some people accept the death of a parent as a sad event but one which is acceptable in the order of things. While they may feel sorrow, they soon resume the business of their lives without suffering any deep trauma. People who experience a parent’s death in this philosophical manner would, almost certainly, find this book a puzzling over-reaction to a natural life event.”

Having read most of the book in the six hours since then, I agree that many people might find this book an over-reaction. But for myself? I say, Caroline Jones, I will never be able to thank you enough.