Archive for January, 2011

Excerpt

Posted in Uncategorized on 01/26/2011 by Melissa

From The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion:

Grief turns out out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be “healing.” A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to “get through it,” rise to the occasion, exhibit the “strength” that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.

It does feel a lot like losing your mind. I can’t shake the idea that I’m going to see Matt again – that one day he’ll just show up to something, and everything will go back to how it was.

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Matt

Posted in Uncategorized on 01/06/2011 by Melissa

Matthew L. Finkel 1988-2010

It’s hard to know what to say. It’s been a week, and it hasn’t really gotten any easier – I think I’ve just gotten better at distracting myself.

He was the funniest and best person I knew, and I’m going to miss him so much.

Remember what’s important in your life, because your world can change in a second.