Has anyone read the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?
I read it when I was in high school or college, I can’t remember…but it is one of those life feels novels that has always stuck with me. I know it became a movie, but I never saw it. The book was so deep and so emotional for me that I knew I could never sit through it without the type of crying where you shake and heave and can’t get yourself back together. Maybe I’ll brave that on a night in alone.
Anyway, it’s a really great book and if you haven’t read it, you really should (among many others).
I think about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close all the time, especially when the going gets tough. The main character, Oskar, describes this feeling of “heavy boots.” He’s a young kid trying to figure out his father’s death, and throughout the story, he tells of things that give him really heavy boots – the perfect way to describe grief through a child’s eyes. My brother and I say it to each other from time to time when something is really sad. You know, when something really weighs on you. I picture trying to walk through sludge with big, heavy, clunky shoes on, trudging step after step and feeling so heavy and feeling so much despair that it’s all I can do to lift my next foot one more time.
Isn’t that life sometimes? Trudging through, putting one foot in front of the other, and barely making it?
I recently experienced the loss of someone very special. That sounds so cliche and so easy to say. “Special” doesn’t even scratch it. Words simply are not enough. The sadness, the despair, and the harsh reality of having someone ripped away from you too soon is so much worse, and cuts more deeply than you can really ever describe. I have dealt with loss, but not like this. We love hard, and when we lose what we love, we feel it. Hard.
Sometimes I think that if we all collected our heavy boots, and we put them in a pile, it would be too big of a pile for this world to bear and we would make a huge pit, sinking deeper and deeper. There is so much sadness in the world, so much fear and loneliness and heart wrenching stories of people who have it worse than we do.
And yet, of course I am the type of person who also knows how much beauty there is in the world…that for every heavy boot, there is a light, carefree shoe – a new birth, a joyous wedding, a love story, a shoulder to lean on, and a chance to start again. And in time, I will be able to see it. I know God has a plan, but as humans, it is hard to see the plan when something devastating occurs.
I know that the sun will come out again, but for now, I am wearing really heavy boots.