Last night I watched the final episode of Six Feet Under, and tonight I watched it again with commentary (and still cried in all the same spots, although not as hard) and it felt so, well, good. There were a hundred and one thoughts going around in my head, about grieving in general, fiction and grief, good endings, etc. What sticks out, though, I think, is fiction and grief. Sounds like a term paper, eh? Only it would have to be “The Uses and Meaning of Grief in the Novels of Virginia Woolf” or something along those lines.

But – I love fiction (novels, film, etc.) for its ability to throw me into different lives. To feel different experiences. From the inside, the outside, wherever. Gathering up all these thoughts and reactions and lives for the sheer pleasure of it. And the usefulness of it, like referring to an example a friend has told you about. The “Well, my friend had this happen to her…” type of example. Or the usefulness of, apparently, grieving things you didn’t know you needed to grieve. Nothing in particular, but it always feels healthy to have a good cry now and then (apparently every other day for me, lately). It’s not generally smiled upon when you break down at work or in the middle of walking the dog or while you’re picking up some bananas at the store (although some people find the shampoo/lotion/etc aisle to be very therapeutic), but sit down with a movie or a book and…well, some people still think you’re crazy. I suppose what I’m so eloquently trying to say is that fiction pushes us where we need to go. Whether we know it or not. We gravitate towards what will serve us best.

In other news, I just started East, and ooh am I getting into it quickly. Lots of POVs, hint of mystery, a healthy dose of superstition, a polar bear, and names with significance. I always love books where the names are important.

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