Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alexsandar Hemon

[It is a fallacy] that suffering is ennobling -- that it is a step on the path to some kind of enlightenment or salvation. Isabel's suffering and death did nothing for her, or us, or the world.  We learned no lessons worth learning; we acquired no experience that could benefit anyone. . . . [Isabel's] indelible absence is now an organ in our bodies, whose sole function is a continuous secretion of sorrow.
From "The Aquarium," in the June 13 & 20, 2011, issue of the New Yorker.  Hemon's daughter, Isabel, was nine months old when doctors discovered that she had a rare and highly malignant brain tumor.  His account of the next several months culminates in a harrowing description of the innocent child's truly horrific final moments.  

You could say that what happened to Isabel is every parent's worst nightmare -- but I have never had a nightmare that was nearly as bad as this, and I doubt that you have either.  It's a remarkable article, but I don't blame you a bit if you choose not to read it. 

Alexsandar Hemon

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