Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking

A recent loss of someone dear to our family rang like an echo of 1998. For many nights, it hung in my head like something faint, like the high pitched whine of old tube televisions. The grief that arises from the loss of someone close to you seems indomitable. When people write that they've "overcome grief" or "moved on", it sounds as if they've wrestled it into submission, or left it behind.
For me, the grief was something I couldn't turn away from for a long time. Finally I realized that I had to throw it on my back and carry it with me. Only then could I carry on. So while we can't see it, we've hardly left it behind. We feel its weight on our back and accept that we'll carry it with us until the end of our days.
One night I grabbed the NYTimes Magazine on my way to catch the subway (I hate sitting idle on the train), and during the ride I read an excerpt from The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. Virtually everyone who has ever experienced grief mentions this phenomenon of "waves."
Much of what she wrote felt fresh, familiar, and true. I went out and purchased a copy of the book the next day; it didn't surprise me at all that the book was in such high demand from those who had lost a loved one. In the weeks to follow, the press mentions for the book, especially in New York media, were ubiquitous.
It has won all sorts of acclaim, most notably the 2005 non-fiction National Book Award, and deservedly so. The book has an added layer of pathos because Didion's daughter Quintana died after the book's publication. It's a classic.