Ana Medieta

I was reminded by Jill Talbot of this powerful essay, “The Love of My Life,” on grief by Cheryl Strayed. Read the whole essay here.

“We are not allowed this. We are allowed to be deeply into basketball, or Buddhism, or Star Trek, or jazz, but we are not allowed to be deeply sad. Grief is a thing that we are encouraged to “let go of,” to “move on from,” and we are told specifically how this should be done.”

“We like to say how things are, perhaps because we hope that’s how they might actually be. We attempt to name, identify, and define the most mysterious of matters: sex, love, marriage, monogamy, infidelity, death, loss, grief. We want these things to have an order, an internal logic, and we also want them to be connected to one another.”

“We narrate our own lesser stories of loss in an attempt to demonstrate that the sufferer is not really so alone. We make grossly inexact comparisons and hope that they will do. In short, we insist on ignoring the precise nature of deep loss because there is nothing we can do to change it, and by doing so we strip it of its meaning, its weight, its own fiercely original power.”

“The more connections like this we have, the more interesting we are.”

“What does it mean to heal? To move on? To let go? Whatever it means, it is usually said and not done, and the people who talk about it the most have almost never had to do it.”

“Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only: it’s doing what you have to do.”

(Art: “Silhouette” by Ana Mendieta)

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