Trying to make sense of something tragic (we're but puny beings)

Been re-reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The story just breaks my heart into tiny little pieces. I feel for Oskar, who is trying to make sense of having lost his dad in the 9/11 tragedy. How do you get over losing someone as great as your own father? How does a super smart 9-year-old atheist cope with the senselessness of the event, as he believes things don't have a reason? How do you cope; how do you even replace the void? 

Safran Foer's way of narrating is reason enough to pick up the book. He doesn't go into melodrama territory. He uses cool visual devices (yes, this is not a novel without pictures). While Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tackled a very serious and touchy event, humor and dry wit were always present in his paragraphs and dialogues, pinching your heart all the more and making you just about ready to cry buckets. I love that Oskar wasn't just a plainly sappy or a very very angry character. That's how it is in real-life, right? When tragedy strikes, we intersperse the funny with the sad. 

Some of my favorite moments from the first two chapters:  
  • The teakettle and wanting to train his anus to talk when he farted so that it can say, "Wasn't me!"
  • That paragraph about his first jujitsu class, which was also his last because he refused to ruin the jujitsu master's privates.
  • From the last time Oskar was tucked in bed by his father,
"Dad?" "Yeah?" "Could you tell me a story?" "Sure." "A good one?" "As opposed to all the boring ones I tell." "Right." I tucked my body incredibly close into his, so my nose pushed into his armpit. "And you won't interrupt me?" "I'll try not to." "Because it makes it hard to tell a story." "And it's annoying." "And it's annoying."   
The moment before he started was my favorite moment.      
  • From Thomas's letter to his unborn child where he described meeting his would-be wife, also their first "conversation":
She was extending a hand that I didn't know how to take, so I broke its fingers with my silence, she said, "You don't want to talk to me, do you?" I took my daybook out of my knapsack and found the next blank page, the second to last. "I don't speak," I wrote. "I'm sorry." She looked at the piece of paper, then at me, then back at the piece of paper, she covered her eyes with her hands and cried, tears seeped between her fingers and collected in the little webs, she cried and cried and cried, there weren't any napkins nearby, so I ripped the page from the book - "I don't speak. I'm sorry." -- and used it to dry her cheeks, my explanation and apology ran down her face like mascara, she took my pen and wrote on the next blank page of my daybook, the final one:     
*Highlights, mine. Found this imagery beautiful, but then again I'm just a sucker for puns, visual and verbal ones. :) 
In the aftermath of the recent bombing and shootings in Norway: we weep for those more than 80 innocent people who lost their lives for something senseless. I couldn't even begin to imagine what the parents of those kids must be going through right now; how Norway is suffering and trying to move past those tragedies. Where 9/11 was committed in the name of Islamic extremism, these two recent attacks were done by a man believed to be a right-winger "Christian." We see that, really, it doesn't matter what religion one practices or not practice, what beliefs one has or doesn't have. Violence is but a by-product of hate. Tragic events like the 9/11 happen when people insist on insisting. What's even more sad and disappointing (stupid, really) is when these instances of insistence are reinforced by supposedly intelligent people.

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