If you happened to be on a flight from Cancun to NYC on Monday, you may have seen a woman sitting in a window seat crying her eyes out reading a book – that was me. I couldn’t help but read The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs cover to cover with tears streaming down my face for roughly the last third or so. Why am I encouraging you to subject yourself to something that causes so many tears? Because this is a really inspiring, courageous book. The reader is taken on a surprisingly beautiful journey as the writer – a mother, wife, friend, and daughter who ultimately could be any of us – tackles her pending mortality.
I recommend the book to everyone, just as I strongly suggest everyone read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. This book still leaves me speechless when I consider the message, chokes me up if I read even just the last page. Like The Bright Hour, it too is incredibly positive in its message of hope about life. Both books present a refreshing perspective on death, and ask the reader to stop and consider the little beauties in life while still being realistic about the imperfections. Neither is an emotionally easy read – both are tear jerkers that reminded me to appreciate the moments of good within the chaos, to play for those additional minutes before bed, to splash bubbles at my toddler in the bath, to linger longer sitting outdoors on a Sunday night in the late Summer, and to overall appreciate all the good that life has to offer.
Grab some tissues and enjoy these memoirs – I promise you won’t regret it.