Longreads – To Grieve is to Carry Another Time

I read the first few sentences of this short story and I was already captivated to read the whole thing.  The limited description of this short story includes a  detail about the fourth dimension, which I know to be time, which immediately interested me.  The last essay I wrote was about traveling through time, and human nature, and, while in the process of reading this short story, I noticed some ideas I could write about connecting the two.  Another element that interested me was the inherent certainty that this short piece of literature was a fascinating personal story.  This short story was regarding man writing about the loss of his wife to cancer, and how this loss affected his outlook on life.

The story starts with the author writing about certain scientists, and how their various scientific works, such as books and theories have influenced our modern concept of time, and how it passes by.  This subject, the human concept of time,  fascinates me.  How this concept of time plays into the story, however, is part of what makes it so interesting for me.  First mentioned in the title of the story, the idea of grieving, meaning to remember someone lost, is to carry, or possess emotionally, another time.  Another time from when the person you are remembering was still with you.

This idea of remembering someone you lost some time ago ties into what I wrote briefly about in my essay about time travel.  In that essay, I wrote about how although it would certainly feel good to travel back to a time when you still had someone, it would be better to stay in the present.  I understand why some people would want to go back, and I cannot begin to blame them.  In fact, the short story which I found so interesting actually mentioned how the author wished to go back in time ” just one minute”(paragraph 9).  In this particular example, the author would be wanting to back for the purpose of seeing their significant other.

By including this short detail of wanting to go back, the author can display human emotion, which will undoubtedly make for a better story.  Regardless of what the story may be about, when told from a personal angle, it always seems to captivate us more thoroughly.  Being able to relate to characters in literature is necessary for our psychological and emotional comprehension of said literature.  When we read a story about unusual people living unconventional lives and possessing a generally unorthodox belief for life in comparison to our own, we have a lack of relatability with those characters.  In contradiction to the aforementioned abnormalities, interpreting a literary work containing characters similar to us, with lifestyles and beliefs comparable to our own, a superior sense of relatability and humanity with those characters can be established.  And for this reason; the story having characters that can be related to is an additional defining circumstance that makes the story exceptional.

We encounter good literature essentially every day.  This literature may be surrounding various subjects that we are enthusiastic about.  Good literature we encounter daily may be reflective of our own works and writings.  Or, more commonly encountered, a good piece of literature might be exceptional due to its abundance of emotion and understandability.  This piece of literature was exceptional for all of these reasons.