It’s like reading my own thoughts before I can even form them.

“One of the ideas I’ve clung to most of my life is that if I just try hard enough it will work out.”

“I am still looking for the alternative outcome to this part of the story – as if I had pushed harder at one of these moments, had I been more aware, all would have changed.”

Two nights ago, I picked up Meghan O’Rourke’s memoir about the death of her mother – The Long Goodbye – and I started reading. Again. I had tried months ago only to find myself stopped every page by sobs and the wrenching revelation of the reality of my own mother’s death.

Now, I think I am ready. As ready as one is to read her own grief mirrored – if slightly from a different angle.

This is what I read for most often – to find myself in the pages. Perhaps this is selfish, perhaps naive, perhaps narrow-minded. But it is the truth.

This is also why I write – to give someone herself, to help someone see himself in my words. Perhaps this, too, is selfish and naive. But it is also the truth.

So today, I thank Meghan O’Rourke for making me bear my own pain anew. I thank her for helping me grieve. I thank her for putting my own heart onto the page so that I can see it.

Cover of The Long GoodbyeThe Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke

Sharry Miller is the winner of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. On it’s way, Sharry.