The following are a list of quotes from The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. They are from the edition with ISBN number 1-4000-4314-X. They are listed chronologically and adhere to the Modern Language Association's (MLA) guidelines for quotes to the best of my ability minus the author's last name in the actual parenthetical citation. I have cataloged them under thematic concept and included an introduction sentence to the quote.
Joan Didion's book starts with a quote that is her initial reaction to grief. It is a major foundation point for her writing, and they are repeated at various points in the narrative: "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. The question of self pity" (3).
Didion's description of grief mirrors my sentiments of the debilitating emotion: "Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves of paraoxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blinds the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life" (27).
Another poignant and important description about how grief knocks down a person's defenses to show them at their most vulnerable state: "People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. I have noticed it on my face and I notice it now on others. The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openess" (74).
The eventual loss of life and the realization that we are all mortal beings is my biggest fear in life: "We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very comlication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all" (198).