Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tights of Lament

The day after the funeral.  National Memorial Cemetery of AZ.  Not sure when Dad was actually buried
Red scrub brush foliage at my sister's hotel.   I had forgotten about this fascinating plant.
I think I have to be prepared for the possibility that all will soon tire of my musings on my dad's funeral and trip to Arizona.

I feel like I'm being dragged from my mourning mind space, and I don't want to be.  When someone close to you dies, the world seems to be fine with you drawing a bubble around yourself, some kind of cone of silence, an insulation of grief--and I'm run out of lame metaphors.  But, what I've noticed, it that the world--our 21st century Western world--only allows for the existence of these metaphors for a short amount of time.  A week at best.  Am I wrong?  How long are bereavement leaves anyway?

I'm back to work this week.  Kids are back in school.  I also have a rather high-stakes event this week that I have to prepare for.

Am I allowed no orphan's weeds?  No tights of lament?


  1. Julie--Do not feel rushed through the grief. Stay in the bubble. My dad died 22 years ago and I still feel it every day--and I always talk to people about their grief because I found that the rest of the world wanted me to "be better" right after his funeral. Literally, my visiting teacher in Boston called me after I got back from his funeral and said, "I'm sorry about your dad. Um, are you okay now?" This is a huge, seismic change in your universe. Next time I see you, I will ask!

    1. julie, at least you can stretch it out here at GITP. we want to hear your stories, thoughts, and feelings about your father and family, if you want to share them. also, speaking of orphan's weeds, does one want to wear anything different while in mourning? what feels good? anything? i remember didion's book on grief and she talks about making sure the bereaved have a blanket and tea to mitigate the shock. it seems strange that we have so few codified ways of grieving in our culture. pretty unhealthy, imho.

  2. Julie, you ARE allowed orphan's weeds. Your grief belongs to you. You are allowed to own it. Do, or don't do, whatever feels right. I collect Victorian mourning and memorial jewelry and have come to really love and respect the traditions that gave people a way (and permission) to acknowledge the liminal space of grief, without being required to constantly talk about it, "process" it, reassure everyone that they are OK ... Anyway, please stretch it out all you want. And let us know what you are wearing. Love to you. Tina(rama)