Originally published in April All I know are my experiences. When grief and the emotions that come with grief dominate your thoughts, your logic is clouded and you say and do things you normally would not. Also, I felt pressured knowing that most people wanted me to respond in a positive way. People wanted to know that I was doing OK—that I was good even. So, instead of hearing how I actually felt, most people heard a lie. My automatic thought in response? Whenever someone told me they were sorry I felt awkward because they had not done anything to merit an apology. What exactly are you sorry for?
Give me an outlet After my Dad died, my fifth grade class seemed to become a fatherless class overnight. Things already felt strange for me my Dad had just died! Instead, I loved when people presented me with an opportunity to talk about my Dad. My favorite thing was, and still is, when people share their memories of him. Although it can be bittersweet at times, sharing memories not only helps me remember my Dad and learn new things about him, but it also gives me the chance to talk about him. Both self-imposed and circumstantial.
Just… say something… Many people think that not saying anything will be better than accidentally saying the wrong thing, but the truth is, the worst thing is to say or do nothing. I remember those who were there for me despite not always knowing what to say. Great article, Sam.
I could definitely relate to a lot of what you said. I agree…VERY well said. I am now 27, and I just recently over the past 2 years have felt the freedom to talk about, and celebrate my dad; plus hear my family members tell stories about who my dad was…That has been the most healing thing. I am thankful for this website, and for Comfort Camp Zone. I can only imagine how it transforms lives of people who are trying to understand how to grieve the loss of their loved one. I only hope to volunteer one day SOON!
Thanks for always sharing…. Thanks so much for sharing your insights. This is so helpful for those of us who want very much to be supportive of others in their time of need. I particularly feel reassured by your suggestion that saying anything, even the wrong thing, is better than nothing. I lost my mom 6 months ago and i still cry everyday, people just dont get it you dont bounce right back. Thank you so much for your accurate assessment! But, instead,I felt even more wretched! Thank you. Sam, your article hits home completely.
To add a few things for what NOT to say: if it was a death that possibly might have been caused by hospital negligence, absolutely positively DO NOT tell the grieving person that someone clearly made a mistake and this never should have happened.
Now, how about you jump in your little time machine and go back and fix the mistake so my Mom is still here? That would be great! Oh, wait.. Oh, okay. I can relate to everything I just read. My husband died 7 months ago and my 3 children and I all grieve differently. You are absolutely correct about the people who say nothing. He was hospitalized for less than 2 weeks. They have 2 kids, one is a 21 year old severely handicapped daughter and a 19 year old daughter.
They were one of the closest families I know. I stayed at the hospital with them from dawn to dusk everyday and just was there doing whatever I could just being with them. All I could tell her is that I have no idea what she is going thru or how she feels, but I love her and am there for her when she needs me. I lost my child who who was three months old and many years after, I lost my beloved father.
Only you know your pain, because it never goes away, it lives with you forever.
Life goes on an you carry on but the pain is always there, even when you think of the most precious times. You summed up in a very articulate and inspirational way, how we all feel.
Thank you so much. You are a lovely person!
Absolute perfection. Sums up my feelings after the unexpected death of my father exactly. It's not a bad book, it just leaves you drained. That feeling is the reason why it took me so long to both read it and then put my thoughts in any semblance of order. This is a dark book, one that deals with suicide and how much it taxes the people closest to the person that took that way out of life. Maybe that wasn't the point of the book, because the majority dealt with a fairly standard mystery, but it was the thing that made the biggest impression on me.
Life is valuable and I can appreciate that now even more following a bad result from routine doctor's check up. During the time it took for the doctors to figure out if indeed I had what the initial results indicated, I not only realised how much more I want to do with my life but also that I've touched so many other lives. And that it would be those people who would have the hardest time if I was indeed sick.
So the beginning of this book put me in a frame of mind that I was trying to avoid for months and it felt like a solid punch to the gut. At more than one point I felt overwhelmed and wanted to just give this book up. But it also prompted me to call my friends, tell them how much I love and appreciate them, get up and give my parents and grandmother a hug. Apr 08, Justine rated it liked it Shelves: read , novella. A interesting ghost story, but I had a bit of trouble connecting and feeling engaged with the characters.
The pacing also felt a bit too end loaded for me. I liked the premise for the main conflict, although once the action started to resolve it, everything was over pretty quickly. Overall, I liked the ideas in the story more than how they were actually executed. Jun 10, Amy Imogene Reads rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in The older, sadder, and less innately magical version of Every Heart a Doorway but no less beautiful for it.
What a title. What a concept. What a quiet ride. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day continues on the thread that Seanan McGuire explores in many of here novels and novellas: the concept of time, and what it means for the human experience. For Dusk or Dark or 3. For Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day , this was explored through the theme of ghosts.
These ghosts aren't the usual hauntings—they interact with the world, they have jobs, they can touch you. They're basically humans, but they don't "age" traditionally. She's been running ever since, and has gone to ground in New York City, the place where the living and the dead live on top of each other in the city that never dies, never sleeps. The poetic nuances made between the idea of ghosts and the atmosphere of New York City are one of shining points of the story.
It makes me wonder if a visit to the city prompted the concept. The ghosts in New York City start disappearing, and it's up to Jenna, her ghostly landlady, and a corn witch to discover the truth. I was expecting to want the perennial "more" that I feel at the end of every McGuire novella, but for Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day it was not necessary—the perfect length, the perfect arc for this quiet tale. Full er review to come! I thought this was a reasonably entertaining tale of ghosts and witches, with a bittersweet edge to it.
Like others though, I found it seemed a bit too short for the story it was trying to tell, so that it had an underdeveloped feel somehow. Good, but not amazing. First thoughts: lovely and touching. Witches and ghosts, loss, responsibility and sadness. View all 6 comments. She offers us a ghost story with a difference, full of detail and pathos. I loved discovering how she re-though the dynamics between humans, ghosts and witches. It is a fascinating and rich world. As for Jenna's journey of redemption, it stays with you. I just wish this was longer Aug 22, Chelsea chelseadolling reads rated it liked it.
I love love loved the premise of this book, but unlike with Seanan McGuire's other books, I feel like this was too short for me to connect to the characters. I think I would have liked this more if it was a little longer so I could spend more time getting to know the characters instead of spending all my time trying to understand the world.
Dec 25, Julie Zantopoulos rated it liked it Shelves: read-in , own-it. This was-strange.
Oct 31, Barb Boxermommyreads rated it it was amazing Shelves: So this book pretty much sealed the deal for me with Seanan McGuire. I know I've read the first two her her Incryptid series and enjoyed them, but after reading "Every Heart a Doorway" earlier this year and "Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day" now, I think I'm going to have to devour everything this woman writes - and that's a lot of books because doesn't she write as Mira Grant as well? This book is just beautiful and similar to "Every Heart a Doorway," McGuire takes an urban fantasy theme and makes it So this book pretty much sealed the deal for me with Seanan McGuire.
This book is just beautiful and similar to "Every Heart a Doorway," McGuire takes an urban fantasy theme and makes it somehow become so much more and touch your heart. However, Jenna's death was a tragedy whereas her sister's was all part of the plan, and she is left haunting the earth in New York City. McGuire has captured such an interesting concept with her ghosts.
People who die before their "scheduled" times are doomed to haunt the world. They can "steal" time from individuals until they internally age to the point where they would have died if things has played out as charted, and they are also able to give time to other people to extend their time haunting.
Jenna wants to move on and meet her sister, but she is depressed and has specific methods in which she feels stealing time from others is acceptable. All of a sudden, Jenna learns that many of the ghosts in her city are disappearing. She and her acquaintances, for Jenna really has few true friends, start to unravel the mystery and eventually learn what is happening. While a relatively short book, it sure packs a punch. There are a variety of interesting characters and the subject matter clearly takes aim at loss, depression and moving on. I was totally absorbed by the story and hated for it to end.
If you want an urban fantasy that contains so much more, or if you love ghost stories, this book is definitely for you! Apr 06, Lindsay rated it really liked it. Seanan loves her ghost stories. Jenna lives a solitary life, working by day in a coffee shop and by night as a suicide hotline counselor. Her day job pays her bills and her night job earns her the minutes of life that will move her ghostly existence further towards her eternal rest.
But then she receives a warning from a friend that all the other ghosts of New York have suddenly disappeared.
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Jenna is a deeply sympathetic individual with a sad story, and a sadder existence, with a way of moving for Seanan loves her ghost stories. Jenna is a deeply sympathetic individual with a sad story, and a sadder existence, with a way of moving forward that's brave and a bit wonderful. Her story is complete with this book, but I'd love to read more about the witches and ghosts of New York.
Jun 26, Acqua rated it liked it Shelves: predictable , needed-subtlety , novella , paranormal , adult. I read this novella just because of the title. I had no idea what this was about, but I trust Tor. And it was, but I have to say that I thought this was going to be a horror book, and it's not creepy at all. It's a ghost story about grief, growing old and letting go. The main character of this book is the ghost of a girl who died by suicide in , and she's now a grown ghost who works at a suicide hotline.
She also ke 3. She also keeps old cats left behind in her home so that they have a comfortable place to live in during their last months. I really liked her, but the story was too short for me to get attached to the main character and too long for its actual plot. There are many good ideas here, but not much happens, and I wanted more creepy things happening in a world where there are rat witches, corn witches and ghosts. It's a solid story, but I feel like it could have done more with its premise, or that it could have been shorter.
Also, I like Seanan McGuire's writing most of the time, but she has a problem with subtlety. She writes messages I agree with in her books, but the way she brings them up is usually preachy and forced. During the first scene, the main character is talking with Vicky, who has just called the suicide hotline. At some point during the conversation, Vicky says: Statistically, women are more likely to go for poisons than men are. We spend our whole lives learning how to be… how to be as neat and tidy and unobtrusive as possible, and then we go out the same way.
Also extremely forced, given the context. It's not a one-time thing, it's something I noticed also in Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky , in which the unsubtle, forced writing was even worse. Feb 13, Paul Perry rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , female-author , female-cast , fantasy , ghost-story , female-protagonist , fiction , us-author. Even though it is the prologue, I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't read it. Once into the novel proper she builds her world - a New York full of ghosts - with consummate skill. The she spans myth and fairy tale and realism brought to mind Charles de Lint, and there can be no greater praise.
If you haven't read him I am not saying he's one of the greatest fantasy writers in the Engli 4. If you haven't read him I am not saying he's one of the greatest fantasy writers in the English language, I'm saying he is one of the greatest writers in the English language McGuire wonderfully sketches a small ensemble almost entirely female cast, and introduces rules for her spectres and magic that draw from folklore and work perfectly well internally - but did leave me wondering somewhat about the wider implications view spoiler [ if the ghosts of people - and other things - take up all that space, along with however many million New Yorkers, how are they not noticed hide spoiler ] The only other issue I have is that, despite the power of the prologue and opening chapter, the depiction of the passage to an afterlife did rather take away death's sting, although perhaps that's an inevitable problem with this type of ghost story.
All in all, a gorgeous gem of a book. Jan 30, Kelly rated it it was ok Shelves: paranormal. This is a short story and I thought about abandoning it several times. Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream? Adonoi at last, with you? Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon—Deaths- head with Halo?
Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence, than none ever was? Nothing beyond what we have—what you had—that so pitiful—yet Tri- umph, to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower—fed to the ground—but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe, shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth wrapped, sore—freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the knife—lost Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy—even in the Spring—strange ghost thought some—Death—Sharp icicle in his hand—crowned with old roses—a dog for his eyes—cock of a sweatshop—heart of electric irons.
All the accumulations of life, that wear us out—clocks, bodies, consciousness, shoes, breasts—begotten sons—your Communism—'Paranoia' into hospitals. You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later. You of stroke. Is Elanor happy? Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over midnight Accountings, not sure. His life passes—as he sees—and what does he doubt now? Still dream of making money, or that might have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Im- mortality, Naomi?
I'll see him soon. Now I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't when you had a mouth. And we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses —headed to the End. They know the way—These Steeds—run faster than we think—it's our own life they cross—and take with them.
Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, mar- ried dreamed, mortal changed—Ass and face done with murder. In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept. Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless, Father in death. Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not light or darkness, Dayless Eternity— Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some of my Time, now given to Nothing—to praise Thee—But Death This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Won- derer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping —page beyond Psalm—Last change of mine and Naomi—to God's perfect Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms!
II Over and over—refrain—of the Hospitals—still haven't written your history—leave it abstract—a few images run thru the mind—like the saxophone chorus of houses and years— remembrance of electrical shocks. By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your nervousness—you were fat—your next move— By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you— once and for all—when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my opinion of the cosmos, I was lost— By my later burden—vow to illuminate mankind—this is release of particulars— mad as you — sanity a trick of agreement — But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and spied a mystical assassin from Newark, So phoned the Doctor—'OK go way for a rest'—so I put on my coat and walked you downstreet—On the way a grammarschool boy screamed, unaccountably—'Where you goin Lady to Death'?
I shuddered— and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma— And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of the gang? Allen Ginsberg Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem.
Follow Us. Find Poets. Read Stanza. Jobs for Poets. Materials for Teachers. The Walt Whitman Award. James Laughlin Award.