Griefs Observed

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I don't really have any commentary to offer here, but it's been striking to read Amy Welborn's reflections (start here, then go here and here and here and keep going to the present) following the untimely death of her husband alongside Meghan O'Rourke's ongoing meditation on mourning (here's the first entry; here's the latest) in the wake of her mother's passing. There are continuities, but the counterpoints are what's most remarkable: O'Rourke is secular and agnostic, exploring what it means "to grieve in a culture that - for many of us, at least - has few ceremonies for observing it"; Welborn is a Catholic, experiencing a seemingly-unbearable grief in the context of a fervent faith. You may be reading both already; if you aren't, you should be.

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Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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