Sunday, June 21, 2015


I was telling Wes how it seems strange how much movies find a way to interject themselves into what we go through. This weekend, in the loss of a loved one, I was listening to all of the voices speaking, the children laughing and playing, the food being prepared and eaten, watching faces lifted in laughter and tears rolling down cheeks, & I thought about this scene in the movie Philadelphia where friends and loved ones had gathered together to remember the loved one they has lost to death. Had I not heard this song nor seen this movie, I don't know where my mind would have gone at that moment. I am not sure how I feel about that. To a novel or poem, to a previous experience, to thoughts of mortality and the loss so hard to articulate? I don't know. Grief takes us so many places. Memories flood over us and we are awash and filled with the colors of loss, of having loved deeply, of carrying on, or summer and watermelon or fireworks or the brilliant blue sky above.


LKD said...

Oh, that end scene of Philadelphia. I haven't seen it in such a long time, but it tears me apart every single time.

Neil Young singing that song in that angelic, almost child-like voice.

Your post reminded me of that scene from Out of Africa, when Meryl movingly recites that poem at the funeral of her lover. How she chokes on those last words:

nd round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

Briefer than a girl's.

The reason I mention this is after reading your post, I wondered what folks looked to and connected to in times of grief before there were movies. As you mentioned, books, art, poetry, music. Of course.

I'm sorry for your loss. I haven't been here in such a long time. I'm trying to find my way back to writing via my blog, and visiting some of my old blog friends in the process.

So, hello, old blog friend. I like Facebook. Facebook is fine. But it ain't no blog.

Anonymous said...

My Dad passed away 8 years ago on this date 8/15/07

Maggie said...

I agree, Laurel, that FB ain't no blog. I felt far more free on my blog. I hope you get this. I posted and haven't checked in some time. I think I am going to spend more time here. Barbara: so sorry about your loss. I woke at 4 AM this morning with so many thoughts and years going through my mind. At some point, I was back to the night my father died. At that point, I could not go back to sleep.

LKD said...

I've found that even though I've gotten no feedback on my blog--except yours, and a comment from another friend--I'm deriving a great deal of satisfaction when I spend the few minutes it takes to commit some words to it. I'm doing it for myself. I will always miss the connection, the sense of being a member of a secret society, that blogging used to provide, but I'm glad I found my way back to it. Writing has always been such an important part of my life. I've written so little since finding myself so unexpectedly, unflabbably, consistently happy. I know my poetry, back in the day, was born of that depressed, angry mind I once had. Once I got happy, I didn't know how to write with this new brain, this new voice. I'm still figuring that end of things out. But writing just to write, to observe, to connect with a moment, was never a part of the old brain. So, here's to blogging. Here's to writing the truest sentences I know. Here's to connecting to a moment, owning it, then letting it go.

Maggie said...

I still have my old, depressed brain that once cranked out some decent lines, but I seldom write these days. Wish it was because I felt happier. Alas, maybe one day! I have my joyful moments--particularly when I get to see my grandchildren, but I still have so much work to do on me. I really thought I would've understood myself better at the age I am--now 57, but I feel I am far from being the evolved human being I thought I would be. I still do far too much living in the past and with the regrets of a past in which a very conflicted me made some bad decisions. I haven't forgiven myself. I have to let it go, and I have to learn to start living.

LKD said...

I find myself in the exact polar opposite of your position, Maggie. I feel like I know myself wholly at the age of 50--I turn 51 next month--in ways I wish I'd known and understood who I am and WHY I am who I am since I was child. I know now that I was born an introvert, and with a depressive brain. Lucky for me, something flipped in the chemical makeup of my grey matter in my mid-forties and I got ridiculously, inexplicably, organically HAPPY. Sure, I'm still moody, especially now that I'm perimenopausal, but this happiness is so constant and unstoppable that bad moods or sad moods flit in and out with such brevity that I can't cling to them and sink into them the way I once did. It was happiness that used to be so fleeting and strange and momentary for me. I hope you find this happiness. I hope everyone does. It's such a great, good gift. I want everyone to experience it.

Have you ever been in therapy? Maybe talking to an objective listener might help you begin to let go of the past and allow you to forgive yourself.

Maggie said...

I am so glad you are in that place, Laurel. Yes, I've been in therapy in the past. I work in community mental health as a crisis case worker. Every day, I meet depressed, suicidal, homicidal, anxious, actively hallucinating, etc people who endear themselves so completely to me. It is hard work, and it is emotionally taxing, and I would not think twice about anyone doing what I do or what our counselors or APRNs do getting some mental health first aid. We are our best allies in this field, and we know the challenges when we take it on, but I cant see me anywhere else. That being said, I know what I know. That helps me get through the days many times. I am not averse to meds nor therapy or I could not do what I do. I know what I learned in therapy many years ago that still carries me, and I know I am going to have to make decisions to change my life. I just am not there, and the reasons are complicated. I am keeping on, and I remain hopeful. I am not in despair. I am just not where I think I need to be with many things in my life.

Anonymous said...