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Notes on Grief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language”

“I finally understand why people get tattoos of those they have lost. The need to proclaim not merely the loss but the love, the continuity. I am my father’s daughter. It is an act of resistance and refusal: grief telling you it is over and your heart saying it is not; grief trying to shrink your love to the past and your heart saying it is present.”

“For the rest of my life, I will live with my hands outstretched for things that are no longer there.”

“How is it that the world keeps going, breathing in and out unchanged, while in my soul there is a permanent scattering?”

“It does not matter whether I want to be changed, because I am changed.”

“Age is irrelevant in grief; at issue is not how old he was but how loved.”

“I wince now at the words I said in the past to grieving friends. "Find peace in your memories," I used to say. To have love snatched from you, especially unexpectedly, and then to be told to turn to memories. Rather than succor, my memories bring eloquent stabs of pain that say, "This is what you will never again have.”

“Never' has come to say. 'Never' feels so unfairly punitive. For the rest of my life, I will live with my hands outstretched for things that are no longer there.”

“A friend sends me a line from my novel: 'Grief was the celebration of love, those who could feel real grief were lucky to have loved.' How odd to find it so exquisitely painful to read my own words.”

“Another revelation: how much laughter is a part of grief. Laughter is tightly braided into our family argot, and now we laugh remembering my father, but somewhere in the background there is a haze of disbelief. The laughter trails off. The laughter becomes tears and becomes sadness and becomes rage. I am unprepared for my wretched, roaring rage. In the face of this inferno that is sorrow, I am callow and unformed.”

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Book Keywords:

change, grief, mourning, wisdom, reflections-on-life, grief-and-loss, life

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