Grieving for a family member, a library, and a town

I’m still in grieving.

As I mentioned in my last Sunday Salon post, I had a relative who died that previous Saturday. A relative with whom we had a complicated past, but whom nonetheless we are grieving.

But now my grieving isn’t just for him and his family. It also is for a library and the town it served.

As I also mentioned in my Sunday Salon post two Sundays ago, my hometown library suffered damage from flash flooding on Aug. 3. Now this past week, it died.

Tuesday morning, rushing water from another round of flash flooding tore apart the first floor of the building that housed the library and then carried the second floor into the middle of the highway that goes through my hometown.

No one was injured, but a family who rented an apartment on the second floor had to be rescued. Just outside of town, and in a neighboring town, Monroeton, others were airlifted from their homes by helicopter.

I have since learned there are no plans to rebuild or relocate the library. Yes, there is a library in another neighboring town, Dushore, six and a half miles away. But it is a loss nonetheless, not just physically, but also psychologically.

Even with all this grief weighing on me, somehow I was able to finish a book: The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. However, so far, the cruelest month to me hasn’t been April but August. I am more than looking forward to having a four-day weekend, as I added a vacation day that following Tuesday, to start September and put August well behind me.

So have you been reading anything good recently? Please share in the comments.

Clarification: This library is not where I work. This is the library in the town where I grew up, New Albany, Pennsylvania. The library where I work, in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, is about 60 miles to the west. We had no flash flooding where we live.

18 thoughts on “Grieving for a family member, a library, and a town

  1. I can certainly relate to what I call complex grieving. Both my father and mother had virtually no relationship with me. Mostly due to mental illness but not entirely. When they both passed I went through this horrible bout of depression even though I didn’t really feel a connection to them. It was more about the loss of any chance we had for a reconciliation. I mean, I knew it would never happen but I had hoped.

    As for your library. I know it was small but it seems rash to declare so quickly that it will not be rebuilt. Don’t they have insurance? No flood insurance maybe?


  2. I am terribly sorry to hear about the loss of the library. How can there be no plans to rebuild it? That Is awful. Our state library association sets aside funds for disasters such as this. Perhaps there is a state association in your state that may do likewise.


  3. Any library that closes is a loss, but to have it close because of a natural disaster somehow makes it worse.

    This isn’t the library where you work, is it?


  4. Awful, just awful. my condolences to you and your family on the death. The library being destroyed is so terrible. Will you have to work in Dushore? I didn’t realize you had such flooding there.


    1. That isn’t the library where I work. It’s my hometown library where I grew up, in New Albany. I live and work in Wellsboro, about 60 miles to the west. We don’t normally have such flooding here: flash flooding, which has never happened in New Albany to my dad’s knowledge. He’s lived in the New Albany area most all of his life.


  5. That’s so heartbreaking for the community. I’m so sorry, Bryan. These two losses back-to-back have to be so difficult. I hope you’re able to find some peace and comfort in these upcoming days.


    1. I think it’s also the weather has been so humid lately too. Not really hot, but humid. So not helping…but glad to have this weekend off and not going anywhere. Time to try to relax and read.


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