Perzine, Laura Stanfill, 68 pgs, Microcosm Publishing, laurastanfill.com, $9.95 CAD or $7 USD
Death and grief hover everywhere. As pandemic restrictions begin to lift in North America, many are looking to put COVID behind us. Yet, for those who have lost loved ones to the virus, the grief remains.
In April 2020, writer Laura Stanfill’s best friend died of COVID-19 complications. In Sad House, Stanfill recounts
how she confronted this immense loss while attempting to navigate the new normal of sheltering at home. While I cannot imagine what it is like to grieve for a friend during a global pandemic, Stanfill’s short stories capture her sadness and the ways in which both her young daughters and her creative endeavours helped lift her out of her depression. “Projects, I have come to realize, help more than sleep,” she writes. “After a nap, I rise to the same reality, but if I can paint or draw or bake or pull an hour’s worth of weeds, my day changes in a small but measurable way.”
While Sad House was a zine that brought up many difficult emotions for me, it was also a glimpse into the ways in which one family persevered through difficult times. A touching read, and a reminder to cherish your friends and family.