I’ve been quite the busy bee with the job that pays the bills, traveling across the country, sitting in airports and on planes. Traveling is both a blessing and curse because I do enjoy the people watching and the few hours of solitude that being in a plane or crowded airport afford but inevitably I catch a bug and have to spend a few days recouping. I was fortunate this time because I brought a good book along that I was able to start while traveling and finish up while being sick. The title is Handling the Undead and the author is John Advide Lindqvist and the book has left me feeling pleasantly melancholy.
I was pretty sure I’d feel this way because his other book, Let the Right One In, left me with a similar feeling but this one seemed to sink closer to home. The premise of exploring the livings connection to the dead resonated strongly with me because it seems I have begun to pick away at the threads of my past, in hopes a clear link to my present and future could be seen. I’ve become quite obsessed with searching out pictures of family that I’ve known and loved but aren’t tangible to me in the same way that a photograph is, and putting them on display in my house as a reminder of their existence.
Summarizes the book seems far to complex for me because I’ve housed myself so deeply into the narrative of the story that it’s hard to disconnect the two. Of course it’s not the surface story of the dead rising but the deeper meaning of what does it mean for the living if our dead came back to us that I feel strongly connected to. It seems a funny coincidence (or not considering the psychic connection I share with my mother) that when I was in a particularly emotionally part of the story my mother called to read a card she’d received from my grandmother several decades ago. It was a simple card, full of the tender endearments my grandmother was great at imparting, and as my mother choked up I could see how all three of us were connected and even though dead my grandmother still lived. She was in my mother and me and as my mother softly sobbed telling me how much she missed her mother, I realized that one day I too would cry with a broken heart for the loss of my own.
I think I’m going to sit in this happily sad place I have discovered for a bit longer and reflect on the beautiful simplicity of this story that has caused a well of emotion to churn inside of me. I may even look at pictures of my grandmother and read little notes I’ve tucked away from my mother. Text my sister, kiss Sig Other, and find a Christmas gift from my father. Revel in all the great little pleasures that come with being alive. Because now that I’ve had a chance to mourn the dead I really should focus on the living.