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Monday, August 28, 2006


The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.For nothing now can ever come to any good.

~excerpt from Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone by W.H. Auden

Is it possible to “get used” to grief? Can it become so commonplace within a life that it is the only and natural way of things? Is it possible to move in continuous and spiraling patterns of grief and not lose yourself in it? How can a person experience loss and devastation over and over again and keep on functioning?

Shouldn’t the earth quit turning? The clocks pause? The music stops playing? Shouldn’t an audible sigh of commiseration be heard around the world? Shouldn’t the water levels rise from all the tears shed? Shouldn’t the sun try to hide its brightness behind the shelter of the clouds?

There should be free passes to get out of work, social engagements, phone calls and idiotic pleasantries. There should be free plane tickets to sob on the shoulder of a friend or sit on a porch quietly with one who understands. There should be a never-ending supply of inexpensive, soothing red wine. And chocolate should be calorie-free. Husbands should never have to travel out of town and mothers should sense the pain without a word offered.

There should be Pain Mediators that issue “Get out of pain free” cards. There should be a limit on grief and when it’s reached, the pain stops. There should be a way to turn things off and on at will and a quick escape to a better way. Well wishes and prayers should be enough and the desperate begging and pleading to no one in particular shouldn’t have to fall on deaf ears.

Too many shoulds.

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