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Why life is like literature

 Why life is like literature

How do you see life?

I see life like literature.  Every piece is a beautiful piece of expression – no matter the length.

When we read a stunning quote we don’t say ‘well, where’s the rest of it?’ or ‘ this should have been a book, where are the other pages?  This is such a waste!’  When we read a beautifully crafted poem that brings us to tears we don’t think ‘this would have been a wonderful 5-volume set. There should be more.   It’s so sad the writer just stopped like this’.

But we do this with life. We see a life shorter than we might have thought it ‘should’ be and we describe it’s end as wrong, as wasteful….as if it wasn’t beautiful enough as it was.  As if it ought to have been more.  But, you see, it wasn’t more.  It was exactly what it was, no more, no less, and deserves to be seen as beautiful as it was…whatever that looked like.

We call anything but death by old age ‘unnatural’.  Unnatural in what way?  Did the cave-babies not die?  Did the young cave men and women not fight, not have accidents, not die of anything other than old age?  Not die young?

What about in  nature then?  Do animal babies not die?  Do animals not kill each other? Are there not accidents, illness, disease?  Do all animals die long after their offspring and all the way into ‘old-age’?

This idea of a young death, an accidental death, a death by disease as unnatural separates us from reality and sets us up to suffer AND to miss the beauty in the life as it was of our person who died.

Some lives are 5 volume sets ( extraordinarily long).

Some lives are  novels.

Some lives are short poems.

And some lives are brief quotes. Brief but poignant.

And all are beautiful and complete just as they were.


With much love,




Julia Wilde May 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

Great analogy with literature, Kristie. In fact as a copywriter I can vouch for less is more in terms of quotes – and can see how that may also apply to lives. You are absolutely right – they are beautiful as they are, and for what they were and are to us still. No more, no less. Thanks as always for a thought provoking and positive view on life and death.

Leo May 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Ah, so you are a writer after all! 🙂

What I like about your article is that it is devoid of self-pity. I’ve signed up for other bereavement blogs but had to unsubscribe because I couldn’t stand the endless self-indulgent pity-partying of both the author and people who left comments.

But maybe I’m out of touch with the herd here, because one blog in particular has achieved wide renown and attracts a seriously large number of comments. But there again I never did run with the pack …

Your analogy with literature reminds me of a time I was walking through Hyde Park, a quite delightful place when the sun is shining and accents from our entire global village can be heard. It suddenly came to me, gently, like a faint breath of wind whispering “Life is art, an installation on a vast scale, a 3D sound and light extravaganza”.

This resonated with me as a way of describing this mystery. Truth is no-one really knows what it’s all about but comparing it to a work of literature or art feels to me to be as good a way of interpreting it as any.



Emily May 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

My baby’s life was short, but in that hour we spent together ~ he managed to break open my heart and I felt a love I never felt before ~ holding him was like holding a work of art ~ and whenever I think of him he is my beautiful work of art…

Nick Capocci May 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm

This is brilliant, Kristie. Thank you.x

Kristie West May 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Welcome Nick. xx

Kristie West May 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm

What a beautiful way to see your baby’s life Emily. And what an amazing life he lived and legacy he has left. An hour of pure love with you. xxxx

Kristie West May 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Hi Leo,

Yup most of them and grief forums out there are like that unfortunately. Working from a place of pain, discussing pain-based ideas, and often dealing with professionals who work from pain-based methods and ideas.
It’s a bit different around here so you’re in the right place.;) I see no need for pity parties. When people are willing and ready they can completely change their experiences of death, so there would never be a need for pity (self or otherwise) again.

Very glad to have you here.


Kristie West May 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm

You’re welcome Julia. I’m glad you liked it. And lovely to have the feedback of a professional writer too – I agree, often a short quote says all that needs to be said. So too with a life sometimes.