Monthly Archives: March 2017

My March Madness

This has nothing to do with sports. If that’s what you’re looking for, move on. This is about death, grief, and mourning.
It was serendipitous, I suppose, that it was this month that I heard part of a CBC interview with Joan Didion in which she said (I’m paraphrasing) that grief is the emotion and mourning is the process (at least that was my takeaway). That took my breath away for a moment.
It came at a time when I was wondering if I was ever going to live through a March without mourning or going mad. It has been 18 years. I’ve granted myself some grace in this and permitted myself to continue to process my grief through mourning. It’s something to practice.
Sudden death always seems tragic. In these particular deaths, it was an accident, there remains the wreckage that littered its way through the family. Relationships died. Relationships that had been broken were gradually amended. Children became adults. Adults became teenagers, sullen and angry, lashing out at inappropriate targets, and, generally, acting like life had let them down. Through death, we are alive.
For 18 years I’ve marked the passings and wondered about grief and loss. This year I thought about the phrase: the good die young. I decided this was crap. The good don’t necessarily die young, but whenever one dies we think: “Wait! I’m not ready! Come back!” and that makes them seem too young to die, no matter their age. It is we who are too young.