I look forward to reading The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God, a new book edited by Michael Pakaluk about his late wife Ruth, who died of breast cancer leaving him with six children.
The book comes highly recommended from several of my good friends, and I was especially impressed with Michael Novak's blurb:
“I have never read a more beautiful and touching book – a book about a joyous life and overpowering death, and grief and joy. Michael and Ruth Pakaluk’s account of love and grief towers head and shoulders above the justly acclaimed accounts of C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed and Sheldon Vanauken in A Severe Mercy. Throughout, I felt in my heart that Ruth is a marvelous saint for our times.”I'm not sure that it's even possible for a book to "tower" above Lewis and Vanauken, but it's surely a good addition to that genre.
Here's an article about her life and death; I was struck by this:
In a network of friends that now stretched across at least three continents, hundreds of people were now praying for a miracle cure. But Ruth, who had packed so much activity into her 41 years, had a different perspective. "Why would I want a cure?" she asked Mary Mullaney. "Why would I trade the face of God for life on this earth?"