But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. ~ Lord Byron
When Barbara Abercrombie’s husband died, she found the language of condolence, no matter how well intended, often unhelpful and sometimes downright irritating. In her grief, she yearned for words that acknowledged the reality of what it felt like to survive a loved one’s death, and that could unflinchingly speak to the sorrow and loneliness (and sometimes even guilt and anger) that can show up in the mourning process.
In searching for a book that she could read during her time of grief, Barbara came up short. Every book she looked at was either too clinical or too flowery. So she started collecting selected writings that resonated with her personal experience of mourning, and The Language of Loss: Poetry and Prose for Grieving and Celebrating the Love of Your Life began to form. Here she shares how she came to write "the book I needed when my husband died."