Giving in to mourning
When I try to write From the Edge the challenge for a long time now has been to think of something to write about that might interest me long enough to fill my box on the back page, the catch being that the something not have anything to do with Janice Lee Porter, nor my sorry ass since she vanished and left that corpse in our bed.
I could write about my grief and mourning at any moment—and I obviously have—but I didn’t figure anybody else would necessarily want to read about it. It turns out I was wrong, and I’m no longer surprised to hear now and then from yet another Gentle Reader who knows what I’m talking about from experience—apparently the only way to know—and appreciates me waving mine around in public.
I love hearing from people who have managed to find something in what I’ve done that made sense to them and was maybe helpful, because otherwise I don’t know about any of that. In regard to From the Edge, my experience is generally like kissing a battleship—no detectable response. I never expected to be useful, and now that I know, I can be grateful for the gift, so I am. If I didn’t know I was useful, I wouldn’t be grateful for it, and I love being grateful.
I think spilling my guts in public like this has done wonders for my ego and its relegation to the outskirts of my psyche. Now that I’ve surrendered all hope of healthy self-esteem, I feel much better. I’ve accepted missing Janice one way and another forever, and I don’t think about whether I ought to be feeling and thinking something else that’d be better for me or the planet. Too damn bad. This is it now.
My understanding is that grief is what we feel when we’ve been bereaved, and mourning is the expression of that grief. Now I mourn consciously, so as not to let that grief build up and fester.
I go to an open-ended bereavement group that gets the occasional newbie, which gives the rest of us a chance to see how far we’ve come, sometimes imperceptibly until we see a freshly bereaved soul and remember that breathless pain and appreciate ourselves and what we’ve lived.
The remnants of my Enloe bereavement group still meet for dinner once a month, and by now I’d miss them if we didn’t. We’re getting used to each other, which I like, because we’re good people. We also prefer good food, so there’s that, too. Next month we’re going Chinese.