Today in My History
Reno at Dusk
Books Read in 2019
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GRIEF AND REMEMBRANCE
27 September 2019
If you have 20 minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching this video. It's Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert discussing grief. It took place a couple of weeks after Cooper's mother died and Colbert remembers the death of his father and 2 brothers, when Colbert was 10 and how it has affected his life. It was apparently the first time Colbert had discussed his loss and the whole interview is just wonderful, especially if you like either/both Colbert and Cooper, as I do.
They talked about how when you lose someone you love, you never forget, and it's always with you Maybe people who haven't experienced it don't realize that. It's not that you grieve forever, but they become a part of the new person that you are after their death.
I remember after David died, we went to Ireland and stayed with Walt's mother's cousin, Nora, whom we loved dearly. Our first day she was uncomfortable and said "OK...I'm only going to say this once and I won't mention it again, but I'm so sorry to hear about David." I think she felt that the fact of her mentioning David would bring fresh grief for us.
I remember years ago when a friend of our kids died and we went to the memorial service. I didn't have a clue what to say to the grieving parents and muttered something that made no sense and then felt regret for years--even to this day--about my inability to know what to say.
After David died, I learned that the people who brought the most comfort were those who talked about him. "I'm sorry for your loss" is perfectly fine and a wonderful comment of condolence, but David died nearly 25 years ago and yet he's with me every day. So is Paul. So is Gilbert, who died more than 30 years ago. They are just in part of your memory and while you may or may not think of anything concrete about them on a daily basis, they just are.
The most comforting things, even this many years later, is sharing memories with someone else.
I recently asked Paul's best friend Kag to send me a photo of a painting he made, which he showed to me a year after Paul died, on the occasion of the dedication of the performing area of a new arcade that was built in town (we are probably the only people who call it "Paul Plaza") Kag is a design artist. The painting made me cry and still does.
It took him a year to make and it is made of hundreds of teeny squares. It is the story of his life. The white squares at the top are all the days from his birth to the day he met Paul. The colored squares are all the days of their friendship and life together. The black squares at the bottom are the days after Paul's death.
I think it is such a beautiful representation of their friendship and, when you think about it, it is a good way to think of any of our relationship(s) with friends who have left our lives. In a way it is comforting to have those memories that live with us at all times.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7128