Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grief Does Strange Things to People

Grief does strange things to people. Death, the idea of death, the approach of death, the finality. Families fall apart when they should pull together. They plot and weep and accuse when they should weep and forgive and breathe. They can’t see the big picture. The big picture is a solar eclipse that can only be viewed through a slit. The eye sees pieces and slivers and thus the smallest matter becomes the whole. Battles are fought over coins and clocks and ugly dishes. Things are broken and go missing. People are cut off and left out.

Death does strange things to the living. They plug their grief into books and houses, slippers and silver, a tobacco tin of money and the pearls Nanna promised, and these objects light up, they blaze in the dimness, they burn with a brightness that seems death-defying. In the dark, the grief-stricken are confused: Look, they cry, there it is! There is my love who is going, who is gone, you can tell by the light! There is my love, it is all I have left, I must not let go.

Love is all they have left. They cannot let go.