my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

5.17.2005

Grief


I want to talk about grief, as a cathartic exercise. This can be termed a lament, "an expression of deep grief or sorrow over personal loss."

There is no primary episode of grief in one's life, but rather griefs are strung together, as pearls in a necklace of wounding. They build upon each other, as life goes on and the necklace lengthens, with one never quite forgetting the initial injury.

My initial grief, the first pearl in my necklace of life's sadnesses, was my father's departure from the family when I was eight years old.

The nature of this grief has forever sensitized me to being left behind, abandoned, by people about whom I care deeply.

This will never heal completely. Something will happen to reawaken the sadness and I will remember.

One memory: walking down the street as a little girl, momentarily cheered when I thought I saw a man who looked like my father. Then overwhelmed with hopelessness when I realized it wasn't him, couldn't be him.

Another: closeted in my darkened dorm room for two weeks after losing my first love. Unable to tolerate any light stronger than a candle and playing "Here Comes the Sun" over and over and over, to try to somehow get over the loss paralyzing me.

But I've learned better ways to deal with grief. Quiet ways that aren't as obvious (necessary because my family absolutely believed in stiff upper lip. Sadness wasn't well tolerated. One was encouraged -- no, forced -- to "get over it.")

One of my ways is magical thinking, which may or may not have some basis in reality. I believe I can maintain connection on an astral level. I hold the person in my mind ... believe it. Don't believe it. I believe it.

I also have come to believe that losses happen for a reason. That we choose our losses to help us grow. An ultimate rationalization, but it works for me.

To see life's pain as a precious necklace, an emblematic badge of courage and growth, helping us evolve into stronger, more compassionate individuals.

It still hurts of course.

5 Comments:

Blogger Yesrie said...

Mireille, this is so moving. I love the pearl imagery (the layers of nacre beautifully, fruitlessly coating the pain) and the necklace of grief.

The illustration makes me cry. New Orleans, huh? I hope to see it someday, and when I do, the famous beads will mean much more to me.
X,
Y

12:03 PM

 
Blogger briefcandle said...

so beautiful, so wise

I have attachments to much hurt in my life, too. The loss of your first love made my stomach knot in memory of my own loss at exactly the same age.

I meditate now to help release myself from these attachments. Sometimes, it is as simple as that and I let go. And when they come back, I meditate again.

4:24 PM

 
Blogger katiedid said...

Once again you've found beautiful picture to accompany a beautifully written essay with sad but beautiful imagery. You do such a lovely job with your blog.

2:42 PM

 
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Very beautiful post Micki. You know, I don't think a person of substance can be built from joyous experiences alone. Grief and pain and learning to deal with them, make us stronger (if a bit scarred!).
Like the rose in ee cummings poem, I see you slowly unfolding through the posts in your blog. As always, I'm in awe.
xoxo
Laura

2:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your post, as always.

xo
thalia

5:03 PM

 

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