I think we need to bring back mourning- actually, I think we need to bring back grief, full stop.
I wrote a while ago (Samhain) about our modern society’s attitude towards death and grieving, I argued that we’d become prudish and scared of death, In our so-called ‘modern society’ we pride ourselves on being open and forward thinking; but this doesn’t seem to apply to death. We brush it under the carpet far too much.
We’ve forgotten how to grieve. With advances in medicine and access to healthcare we have much lower rates of infant mortality and longer life expectancies than we did even just fifty years ago. We’re experiencing bereavement less and less in our lives, and whilst this is obviously a good thing it does mean that we’re forgetting how to deal with it.
We need to bring back mourning. I think that we should be allowed more time off commitments such as college or work, counselling should be made easier to access- and I quite like the idea of wearing black for a certain period of time.
The Brit in me is rallying against all of the suggestions I’ve just made; the way I was taught to grieve is to act as normal as possible. When someone dies in my family we just wipe them from memory and conversation as if they never existed.
But I don’t think this is healthy, it encourages us to push our feelings down- when we do this our emotions don’t just disappear, they stay and start to fester. It’s so damaging- I know that a lot of the issues that I’ve had were down to not being able to express emotion.
After my Auntie died last March I didn’t cry- I didn’t have time to cry. I didn’t tell anyone, I didn’t know how; I just had to get on with things. It’s been over a year and I still find it hard to think back to that time in my life.
You can’t mourn whilst your holding down a job, I know what it’s like to work on tills for four hours after receiving bad news; it’s absolutely awful to have to concentrate and pretend to be happy.
As a society we need to accept that death happens, and it will happen to everyone; ignoring it will not make it go away, it’ll only cause problems.
’til next time,