by Erin Rose Joan Didion is a master of words. Her work, her career, her ease with language is something that both inspires and frightens me. She has written in nearly every genre under the sun but I am particularly in love with her nonfiction work. I devoured the essay collection, Slouching Toward Bethlehem, and then began reading nearly everything she’d ever crafted. During this past summer I encountered a particular amount of loss. My mother says people always die in threes. It’s the laws of the universe. I found myself without the proper language to discuss the grief. I am hardly ever without the proper language for anything. It is the one way I know I can communicate with the world and myself. My words are my life. One afternoon I found on the bookshelf in my sisters’ home a copy of, The Year of Magical Thinking. It was as if someone had planted it there for me. I found what I didn’t even know I was looking for.