"I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, an you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun.
We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back--at the twists lifes took.
And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things.
They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums.
Ray became Dr.Singh, "The real doctor in the family," as Ruana liked to say. And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibilty: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the result of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me.
If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us.
They are the oxygen we breathe.
Now I am in a place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this is more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wild roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams."
-Paragraphs 2 of the last chapter, Susie's point of view.
This story means so much to me. I'm not sure why, but these parts make me cry everytime. Iwon't write anymore, as I don't want to spoil it anymore, but i'm going to tell all of you. READ THIS BOOK! It doesn't matter how big or small you are. This story comes from the heart in every way. It brings you a strange sense of happiness and at the same time, sadness. It makes you think back on everything that has gone wrong in your life, and even if the worst thing happened, you can still have a sense of bravery. This has honestly changed my life in some way.
R.I.P all murdered children out there in our large, large world. I'm always thinking about all of you, wondering about you, and feeling you. May you all bloom the largest sunflowers in every child's garden this year, make them as large as you can, and never ever forget to watch out for those around you.