“There ain’t no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.”– Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie
My oldest daughter and I have been reading “Because of Winn-Dixie,” the classic fictional novel written by Kate DiCamillo, also adapted into a film starring AnnaSophia Robb and Jeff Daniels.
She is a bookworm (like her dad) and has already read the book at least once on her own. When we were scrolling through books to read on the Kindle, she asked if I could read this one to her. I have seen the movie a few times before, but I had never read this classic children’s book myself.
As I was reading this quote, I was struck with a pang of grief. A pang of loss; the loss of a dream that I had wanted, and had died. There was no way to resurrect it. There was no recovery and it was over. It was something that I don’t want to revive, but as I read those words, the grief was back, right there at my door step.
I had to take a few moments to stop and to recover before I could continue. My daughter knew. She saw my tears. She heard my words choking through the last few sentences before the chapter ended.
We talked some about grief. She isn’t yet ten years old, but she knows grief. She has experienced it. Grief, sadness, pain, loss are all central themes to “Because of Winn-Dixie.” You read through it, you hear the many struggles the characters grapple with, the circumstances and situations they face, and it doesn’t really hit you. It didn’t hit me, until I came across these words. The words were like a force. Something that took the pain of the lives in this story that you are reading past, reading to get on with the next part of the story, and it crystallizes their grief into your own consciousness and makes you face your own grief.
A lot of people are familiar with grief, the five stages, and more recently, the six stages of grief, but at some point grief fades. Grief never really disappears but its weight and pull on you seems to slacken and release you, but when you pull back on that rope in the right way, all of its heaviness comes right back onto your chest in a fresh way.
There is an answer for grief. It is found right here in this quote.
Most things are outside of your control. Every relationship is out of your control because two people are involved. Going through the process of grieving is so important, and the final step is acceptance. This is the new reality.
Yesterday is gone. All we have is today.
I am not all the way through with “Because of Winn-Dixie” yet, but I am thinking that it is going to be a favorite book when I do finish it. When I do, I plan to share some more thoughts about other aspects of the book here on my blog. So keep an eye out 😉