Thursday, November 24, 2005


Real if composite phone conversation, repeated again and again:

Lovely caring friend/family member: Oh, Dorcasina, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Is there anything I can do?

Dorcasina (in complete sincerity and gratitude for having such amazing and brave friend/family member): Not really. It means so much that you called. Thank you.

This is what I don't say, can't say, won't say:

Isn't that the bitch of this whole thing? That I have so many wonderful people who want so much to help, and yet there's not a fucking thing any one of them can do to make this better? My whole world has shifted off its axis, and no amount of love and concern does a goddam bit of good. I'm less than half a person now, and that makes me dangerous to myself and everyone else. I have nothing to lose. I'm a body without a soul.

I can't decide which is worse: succumbing to total wretchedness, where I cry until I give myself the dry heaves and feel the need to peel off my skin in sheets just to get the pain to stop? Or the moments where his loss is utterly unreal, when I forget and am driving along noticing a lovely tree, or a child playing, and then remember that the person who was my other half will never again catch my eye or remind me that we are thinking the same thing at the same time? I see "normal" people doing "normal" things and I want to shout at them, to hurt them. How can their lives go on? How can they do those everyday things? For that matter, how can I?


At 4:11 AM , Anonymous mindspin said...

Sometimes cry your eyes out. (There's a whole river of tears and you will shed them all. Crying your eyes out now and then helps somehow. Is necessary.)

Sometimes be mad. Really mad is OK.

Sometimes see beauty - when that happens, just let it.

Sometimes just hold your little girl. (I know you already do this.) In and of herself, she makes your life worth the living in spite of great loss, and she needs to feel this is so.

Feel what you feel.

Sometimes know that your husband is still a part of you even though he's gone. (This may come later, even much later.)

Sometimes realize that all these reactions, even the ripping of your shared soul in two with half left bleeding to begin again, are an obligatory part of deep grief.

Sometimes know you are loved, even when there is nothing anyone can do to redress the loss but be here so that there is a voice that answers, an ear that listens. The people who care about you feel with you their own futility in the face of grief. I suppose all we out here on the Web can do is to say that everything you feel is legitimate, that we'll be here on and on, even though we know we cannot fix anything at all.

At 5:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

inside you are so sweet
beyond telling

and the cathedral there
so deeply tall


At 5:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

inscribed on five of the six pillars in the holocaust memorial at quincy market in boston are stories that speak of the cruelty and suffering in the camps. the sixth pillar presents a tale of a different sort, about a little girl named ilse, a childhood friend of guerda weissman kline, in auschwitz. guerda remembers that ilse, who was about six years old at the time, found one morning a single raspberry somewhere in the camp. ilse carried it all day long in a protected place in her pocket, and in the evening, her eyes shining with happiness, she presented it to her friend guerda on a leaf.

"imagine a world," writes guerda, "in which your entire possession is one raspberry, and you give it to your friend."


imagine a world in which your entire possession is your love, and you give it to the universe.

At 3:45 PM , Blogger Yankee T said...

Again, dear Dorcasina, I am so, so sorry.

At 7:57 PM , Blogger Bad Alice said...

You have just given a small gift--a description of grief that is real, gritty, not sugar coated in any way.

Your eyes, which your beloved loved, are seeing that lovely tree and rejoicing in the child at play. I'm sure that all you are expressing, the way you are expressing it, are part and parcel of what he adored in you.

And no, there isn't anything that anyone can do to help with the grief, but let them bring you food, babysit your little girl, do your laundry--whatever.

Holding you in light.


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