Kathryn Schulz has written a beautiful book about death and love called Lost & Found. In it she muses on the loss of her father and the finding of her wife and how those emotion-filled events bear on each other.
- Some months after C. and I got married, we finally sat down to look through all the photographs from our wedding. We were in the middle of delightedly reexperiencing it when we came upon one of my mother and me, standing side by side on the waterfront, beaming. It is a beautiful picture, and the elation in both of us is evident. But looking at it after the fact, all I could see was the vast expanse of the Chesapeake Bay on my other side, a wide blue emptiness where my father should have been. It was the starkest possible representation of the way that grief had reorganized my family; his absence was so obvious that he almost seemed to have been edited out of the picture. I felt a sudden and excruciating double anguish—for how much I missed my father, and for how much my father, gone at that point for under two years, had already missed. That picture has been on the wall beside me the whole time I have been writing this book. After the shock of first seeing it wore off, I came to love it very much, partly for the way it makes my loss visible and beautiful—it feels like the closest thing I have to a picture of my father at my wedding—but chiefly because, in a single image, it honors my joy together with my grief.
Lost & Found, 219-220 (Random House, 2022) [amazon]. The previous post captures my highlights from my Kindle, but I recommend the entire book very highly.