Monday, January 16, 2012

The disturbance of loss without a story

The disturbance of loss without a story

There is often sadness, only sadness, hidden sorrow, old unrecognized unresolved grief. Why did I learn that I couldn't mourn? And what is unresolved here? I'm thinking about grief no one owns, inherited grief, grief without connected meaningful objects, unresolvable except maybe through exorcism-like ceremonies … loss without a story.

  • She was interior, tears wet on her cheeks. I reached out my arms to comfort and be held. She patted me with a hug and turned away. Her father had just died and I was two. My two grandmothers died and my dog ran away, all in those early years, and I learned boundaries on grief.  We had moved to new space: I had lost the familiar.  Before I was ten the father across the street and the father next door died. I watched how uneasy my parents were with the wives' grief.  My mother's sister moved from the room next door across the country, I skipped a grade and lost a friend.  And this was during World War II. There was whispering at the news and a blue fund-raising tin on the kitchen shelf and assimilation and Josh Liebmann died. Phyllis' father died and I went to the shiva and didn't know what to say or how to be. Richard died and his mother's grief scared those around her and I couldn't cry because Marshall didn't cry . The toy man died shoveling, our age, I could only write a note. Bess died and Marshall didn't cry and I couldn't cry because Marshall didn't cry and when at the service he plucked a daisy from her coffin, I cried and sobbed and got locked up again.
  • After, alone, I used to cry every day in Los Angeles watching the children like mine, not mine, leave school and after Al died I was in Los Angeles with Victoria and couldn't stop crying. And with Vickie there I turned a somersault and cried and cried. Then I put my face underwater in the tub and opened my eyes.

  • The new baby loses the womb, the dying elder loses even breath, and in between is always change, each difference a loss and a gain. I learn the disturbance of not having.

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