Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grief and Mourning - A Story

The trip to Cornwall went much better than I thought it would. My niece was brilliant in her role as Jasmine in the play, Aladin, and while I did feel weepy at the end, I really enjoyed the energy, skill and sheer fun of the show. Afterwards, I went to my sister's and spent some quality time chatting with her. We had a lot to talk about, and it felt good to talk with someone who was literally walking the same path of mourning as I was.

I am anxious to revisit our friends from the biblical book of Job. I'll share this one story and then we'll talk some more about it, probably tomorrow.

A few years ago, it was early morning and Grace was getting ready to head out to catch the school bus. We lived in a very small house, and our first floor was just one room. The television was on, set to a news channel. I was in our little kitchen making Grace's lunch while she packed her school bag. We both were half-heartedly paying attention to the television when a story from the Middle East came on. The screen showed a funeral procession, with hundreds of mourners following the upraised casket in a weeping, wailing crowd. The casket was moved awkwardly through the crowd as broken-hearted men grasped at it, pulling at their hair and face and weeping loudly.

We watched for a few moments, and then Grace made a comment, expressing outwardly exactly what I had been thinking.

"I wish we could mourn like that here."

This is something I have often thought about. There are people in my life who, if I lost them through death, would no doubt result in someone having to scrape me off of the ceiling. There are circumstances where screaming into a pillow just doesn't cut it.

The thing that really interested me about this incident is that Grace is not an overly emotionally expressive person. She has a calm nature, and is a deeply private person. Her observation wasn't a matter of personality or personal preference. She does, though, have a profound awareness of the value of people, and an understanding of the depth of pain that comes when we lose someone we love.

Her comment encouraged me to keep thinking and questioning our cultural approach to mourning.

More next time.

No comments:

My Zimbio