Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My friend is writing about grieving the loss of her sister.

I've just read all of it, from the beginning to the very end.

When I was reading it, I felt it was all mine, to the tiniest detail.

When I finished reading, I realized that only the emotions were mine as well as my friend's - the memories and the experience were all hers.

Although my pain and my emotions are probably nowhere near as intense as hers, I still feel her loss is mine, too. And I feel like reading it all over again, just to live through those happy memories of being around her wonderful sister once more.

Grieving is so much about remembering all the wonderful moments.

I keep thinking about Beslan all the time - there is no place for politics in grieving. Politics may come in later, as a distraction. When there is no politics available, there is writing. And I don't know what else, how other people cope. Revenge is a distraction, too, but more often than not there is no one to take revenge on.

And when there is no grieving, there is politics.

Here are two passages from my friend's journal - but I really think nearly all of it is quoteworthy...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lissa still asks for her mom.  Andy still lays on his bed and cries for a few minutes before he gets up to play.  Amy's son scribbles letters to Sis.  "I miss Aunt ____," he says.  "She can't come back from heaven, so I'll just write her a letter."  They do what they need to do, then they move on with their day.

Small children express themselves naturally.  Their joy, their anger, their excitement, their grief.  Society has not yet told them there's an appropriate way to feel and a time limit on their emotional expressions.[...]

I have been to a therapist or two in my life for various reasons.  They tell me it's good that I write it out.  They say I'm healthy and don't need to see a doctor.  Then they tell me it's been long enough, I shouldn't be writing about it or even thinking about it every day anymore.  These same people write articles and learn from studies that state the grief process sometimes spans years.  And yet they tell me one year is long enough.  Don't talk about her anymore, they say.  Don't give her another thought.  Never mind she was your closest friend.  Never mind your rock is gone.  Forget about it.  I know people who've grieved longer over the break-up of a relationship and it was perfectly acceptable.  Expected, even, in some cases.  But it's not acceptable for me to grieve the death of my sister beyond the one year mark.[...]

Monday, August 30, 2004

I often imagine myself in that car as the tires of the truck roll over the front seat. Sometimes I imagine sitting next to her. Sometimes I imagine I am her. I play it in fast forward and in slow motion, bones snapping, the smell of hot metal and blood in my nose.

Perhaps there was time for only one thought. Maybe it was realization of her coming death, concern for her children, or simply "oh fuck". Or maybe it was something absurd like "Good thing I put on clean underwear."

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