Notes on Grief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Notes on Grief

“I wince now at the words I said in the past to grieving friends. ‘Find peace in your memories,’ I used to say. To have love snatched from you, especially unexpectedly, and then to be told to turn to memories. Rather than succor, my memories bring eloquent stabs of pain that say, ‘This is what you will never again have.’ Sometimes they bring laughter, but laughter like glowing coals that soon burst aflame in pain. I hope that it is a question of time — that it is just too soon, too terribly soon, to expect memories to serve only as salve.”

— from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Notes on Grief



Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Jonathan VanAntwerpen is a program director at the Henry Luce Foundation. Originally trained as a philosopher, he holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC-Berkeley.