Bring Back Mourning

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,

Wren x

 

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One thought on “Bring Back Mourning

  1. Fact is: Most people don’t know much about grief until it hits them up close and personal. They don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving and the do not know how to express their sympathy Then there is that ugly word, CLOSURE. That just ticks me off. When my son was killed, people thought that if we found out who killed him we would find “closure”. What the heck is that? Sounds to me like shutting a door on the feelings you had for this person. Makes no sense to me. When your kid dies, the only “closure” is the door to his future, to the person he would have become and you can bet those issues are going to pop back up any time one of his friends gets married or has a child and you’re going to think about those milestones that will never happen for him. I don’t want “closure” of his memory or a door closing on our memory of his life.
    Grief is not a One Size Fits All sort of experience. It’s different for different situations. Yes, we grieve when it is our dad or mom or grandpa or aunt, but a kid is a whole different ballgame. I think it is Wakes that need to be brought back.
    A good wake, with lots of food to celebrate the life of that person, funny stories about them, lots of talk about that person, that’s the best way to dispel grief. When my friend, Kim died (she was a gay lady, very down to earth and full of mischief), and we went to her funeral sponsored by her very well to do family, its was like she ceased to exist after a certain time in her life. All photos were of her as a very young woman and none of her as a gay woman at all. When they asked if anyone had any stories about Kim, many of us were biting our tongues. No one dared to talk about the real Kim. I so wanted to tell about the time she got her big ole boob caught between the waterbed mattress and sideboard and could not get up out of the bed. We all would have laughed and celebrated the person we knew and loved. Stories are the best way to get through the grief. I don’t want anyone wearing black when I die, not unless they are going to come to the funeral Goth or Steampunk style which would be totally ME and they damn well better tell stories!

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