From: Levels of Life (2013), by Julian Barnes:
“We are bad at dealing with death, that banal, unique thing; we can no longer make it part of a wider pattern. And as E.M. Forster put it, ‘One death may explain itself, but it throws no light upon another.’ So grief in turn becomes unimaginable: not just its length and depth, but its tone and texture, its deceptions and false dawns, its recidivism…”
“As part of the BBC’s focus on grief and how we mourn those who we have lost, the Today programme’s Justin Webb spoke to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Ephraim Mirvis, two people who know about this all too well – having each lost a child themselves.
Welby:…Our experience has been that sometimes you are just caught by surprise…
Mirvis:…No two bereavements are the same, if anybody comes along and says, I know exactly what you are going through, they don’t…”