a sated joy

 

Paul KalanithiWhen Breath Becomes Air

"There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.

That message is simple.

When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you have filled a dying man's days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied.  In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing."

 

Lucy Kalanithi, Epilogue, When Breath Becomes Air

"What happened to Paul was tragic, but he was not a tragedy.

I expected to feel only empty and heartbroken after Paul died.  It never occurred to me that you could love someone the same way after he was gone, that I would continue to feel such love and gratitude along with such terrible sorrow, the grief so heavy that at times I shiver and moan under the weight of it.  Paul is gone, and I miss him acutely nearly every moment, but I somehow feel I'm still taking part in the life we created together."

 

letting go

Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior

"In one transcendent moment buoyed by about two ounces of Riesling she saw the pointlessness of clinging to that life raft, that hooray-we-are-saved conviction of having already come through the stupid parts, to arrive at the current enlightenment.  The hard part is letting go, she could see that.  There is no life raft; you're just freaking swimming all the time."