Losing the language of love
September 16, 2015 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Every relationship brings with it a private language built on shared memories and experiences. Maybe it's a joke shared on a date, maybe a saying or misspoken phrase that privately comes to represent so much more. Following the death of her husband, publicist/copywriter and blogger Virge Randall writes about life after losing the shared language of love.
posted by garius (56 comments total) 92 users marked this as a favorite
From my own relationship:


1. (Proper Name) Small English market town.

2. (Adjective) Indication of how hungry one is, due to a memorable car journey where Hinckley was the nearest place that had motorway services open at that time of the night.

"How hungry are you?"

"I'm pretty damn close to Hinckley."

"Gotcha. Let's go get some lunch."

posted by garius at 5:39 AM on September 16, 2015 [7 favorites]

This is so absolutely true and I'm surprised it's not talked about more.

Maybe not everyone shares silliness and humor with their loved ones like that, but if you do, it's a deeply painful reminder of what you've lost, every time you think of something that you and your loved one would have found hilarious but nobody else would understand.
posted by edheil at 5:55 AM on September 16, 2015 [13 favorites]

Thank you for this.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 6:09 AM on September 16, 2015

Thanks from me too. It is like language death writ small; an everyday extinction. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of mine & my late wife’s shared lexicon already, and the unbidden recollection of some of those terms (barkering, earflaps, snostriches, wankerdude…) can still be bewilderingly painful.
posted by misteraitch at 6:13 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]

So true. Mr. Coffeespoons and I have a language of Simpsons, Princess Bride, Monty Python and and old jokes to relive. It's part of the glue that keeps us together and happy as we struggle through life, jobs, kids, etc. "I'll most likely kill you in the morning" instead of "great work". "I'm not that hungry" if we're driving along the interstate looking for a lunch stop and an Arbys passes by. "Aigs" because I like to miswrite items on the grocery list. "So long suckers" every single time we go through a toll both without having to stop and pay because we have easy pass. And of course "it's too perilous" has so many uses. It drives the kids crazy, but we love it.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 6:16 AM on September 16, 2015 [7 favorites]

Wow! I also catalogued couples' language from several exes, and made some art out of some of it. I was JUST thinking about this yesterday, actually; how strange to see this this morning! "The last two speakers of a dying language" is how I labeled it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:20 AM on September 16, 2015 [10 favorites]

From my own relationship:


1. (Proper Name) Small English coastal town.

2. (Expletive) The worst possible place/outcome/state. Derived from a time when we had to go to Margate.

"How's life?"

"We've all got Norovirus, so all in all pretty Margate"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:24 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

We have two different types of glasses that we regularly drink out of. One type is a milk glass with little cows on it, the other is a high-ball type glass with fish etched into it. If one of us asks the other to get them a drink, the other will often ask "cow or fish?" to determine the size of drink they want.

Cow or fish?
posted by bondcliff at 6:26 AM on September 16, 2015 [11 favorites]

One of my couple friends, whenever they do something they know will irk the other (like take the last eggo waffle in the freezer), will always point to the ring on their finger and say, "Legal Contract." If, then, when that same eggo is snatched from the toaster by the other person, it becomes a "Power Play."

Such things are probably the biggest things I miss from the one romantic relationship I actually liked from so many years ago. The sad thing is, I can't actually recall much of it. There are words, like "Chocobo!", with an even larger emphasis on the first syllable, that I no longer remember the context to. There were shorthand phrases for good night and a whole bunch of other things when we were apart that I knew we had, but don't remember what they were.

Probably should not have read that article. Now I'm feeling all maudlin and in need of a scotch.
posted by qcubed at 6:40 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

"where are you going?" " Thataway!"

From a memorable trip in Hawaii on the Big Island, where we, being stupid tourists following Apple Maps (i know, i know) ended up somehow driving down the side of a mountain down a water run off trail that started out as a road, and then gradually became not a road. We almost had to abandon the car and walk several miles due to a large 5 foot deep 'canyon' in the middle of our "road".

So now, when we are doing something foolhardy without any sense of what we're getting into "thataway!" is our catch phrase.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:41 AM on September 16, 2015

We sometimes joke that our marriage is about two steps away from Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra, which is us hitting peak nerd love, tbh. Some are so deeply ingrained that we don't even remember where the references are from at this point. I love the ones everyone is sharing. <3
posted by librarianamy at 6:43 AM on September 16, 2015 [11 favorites]

My wife and I have a private "language" made up of catchphrases, in-jokes and made-up words that I would imagine anyone else would find nauseatingly twee. Argh, this made me sad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Perhaps this is why we the goldfishes find ourselves artfully strewing our idioms throughout chats with our best friends until they too become infected. It's like life insurance.

posted by feral_goldfish at 6:45 AM on September 16, 2015 [10 favorites]

Whilst the article focuses on the death of a spouse, it's also true that this intimate language dies just as dead after a divorce. You still might talk, but all the punchlines fall flat.
posted by three blind mice at 6:48 AM on September 16, 2015 [22 favorites]

2. (Expletive) The worst possible place/outcome/state. Derived from a time when we had to go to Margate.

Dreamland just reopened, so there's that.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:49 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Weirdly, "So there's that" usually said questioningly or trailing off) is also a relatively significant part of our lexicon....

Also with X for when you want X to do X.
i.e. Wine! for when you want Wine to be Wine. (To indicate that we have Wine)

So there's that...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:00 AM on September 16, 2015

One of our longest lasting sayings is "set expectations to mayo and go from there," from a trip to Ireland where every sandwich came loaded with mayo (I hate mayo) and by the end we just wanted a plain sandwich with no mayo. So now when we think we might be disappointed by something we set our expectations to mayo and hope to be pleasantly surprised. When things get really dire we add "may contain bones," due to that delightful warning on our Disappointing Irish Sandwiches.

Also get a lot of mileage with "this fool is rumped" from Adventure Time, for when our kid is over the edge of tired and just totally losing it.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]

I was actually thinking this morning about how our lives at home are virtually sung-through. I was feeding breakfast to babyozzy, singing about it, and mrsozzy chimed in and finished the phrase. It might even have rhymed. It's a stupid thing that we do, but we do it all the time, and I can't imagine life without it.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:09 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

This article/thread make me realize that mrsturtle and I better both live forever, because I don't know how I'll deal otherwise.
posted by spinturtle at 7:13 AM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

My husband and I have fairly ridiculous rituals, nonsense words, and catch-phrases too. And it is sometimes difficult not to let them slip out with other people (who would likely think me mad if I were to speak the same way to them).

Notably, research indicates that this creation of culture is one of the founding principles for a happy marriage/relationship. We need rituals, private language/jokes, customs and myths to establish (and re-establish) connection.

Well, so says Gottman and co. at least.
posted by Halo in reverse at 7:15 AM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]

This was a lovely if heartbreaking, read. I try not to think about the possibility of one of us dying one day, leaving the other alone with our memories, our private language, the beautiful small minutiae that makes up us. Sometimes I think that is the worst thing about falling in love and sharing your life with someone, is living in the full weight of the knowledge it won't last forever.
posted by Kitteh at 7:16 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

At a recent Metafilter meetup, we played Monikers, which has multiple rounds of trying to guess words.

Each successive round, you're allowed to use less in to describe the noun or proper name in your hand. It was a good-sized group, so we divided up into two groups, one group made out of couples and one group with maybe one couple but mostly friends? The non-couple-y group did better than the couple-group in the first, use-any-words-you-want-to-describe round, but the couples pulled significant ahead in the one-word round, in part, because Mr. Machine and I can communicate centaurs by saying "A-Rod" and manhands by me screaming "LAAAAANA!!!"

So yeah, with us, it's a complex network of Deadspin-level sports gossip and pop culture, and reading the essay and how their private language kept developing up until the very end made me really, really sad, even though it feels really weird to be sad about something that touches on this, but there you go.
I’ve been losing sleep over a turn of phrase he called “nups” because, he said, they were the opposite of puns. They came to me without thinking about them, and Michael was the only one who caught them and treasured them. He’d even email them to friends. I don’t remember any of them. I’ve ransacked our papers and his notes, and checked the emails and I can’t find any references. They’re gone. Like my mother, I can’t remember some of my words. I fear I’m losing my Italian, too, losing a language for a community smaller than a Sicilian village, a nation of two. Now one. But no matter what, I will keep looking, remembering, and adding to the list, appreciating each turn of phrase anew, savoring each moment and memory.

I can hardly do otherwise. I’m the last speaker of “us” now.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:26 AM on September 16, 2015

At one point after a fantastic bowl of pho with my ladyfriend, I managed after twenty minutes of tongue gymnastics to knock a bit of meat out from between my back teeth. The feeling was so immediately satisfying that I just turned and looked her straight in the eye and gustily said 'BEEF RELEASE!' with no related context whatsoever. That phrase is now our shorthand for any small moment of deep and inexplicable satisfaction, as well as just being damn fun in general to shout out with no explanation.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:26 AM on September 16, 2015 [20 favorites]

My wife and I have the in jokes and catch phrases, but what I think of most is the conversations we've had so many times that I know what she's referencing even when she can't think of the name of something. Once I got a text message from a friend that read: "[Mrs. Pterodactyl] asked me to ask you the name of that movie that she's never seen that's based on a book she liked because of the wife?" and I knew without thinking that it was Blade Runner.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:30 AM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

With my brother: Firing your gun randomly into the lake in Resident Evil 4 results in a sudden bad end. This is now shorthand for something that seems innocuous but is actually a terrible, certain-doom idea. "Let's just waltz right into this abandoned house! Let's just fire into the lake!" "They want me to open that wiggling box over there, huh? Let's just empty a clip into the lake, see what happens."

With my sister: A discussion about shojo manga tropes included a frustrated list of all the random things that happen in the course of a story to contribute to misunderstandings and artificially keep romantic couples apart. The hero is meeting his girlfriend at the train station when suddenly - his vague medical condition flares up! He's hit by a car! He's waylaid by bullies/his strict, needy grandmother/his lousy best friend/a jealous female classmate who is trying to keep them apart! It is as if the writer spins a wheel and what comes up stalls the story. So now whenever random happenstance prevents a plot from moving forward in media one of us will intone "Spinnnnnn...", accompanied with miming spinning a The Price Is Right-style wheel.
posted by koucha at 7:56 AM on September 16, 2015

Ugh. Yeah. One of my favorite things on this planet is listening to my partner read the names of my Neko Atsume cats in a funny voice. I want to record him doing the cat voices, but I worry that it'd lose its charm without his actual presence accompanying the voices. Contemplating losing that forever is pretty devastating.
posted by witchen at 7:56 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

One night my ex and I went to a concert and somebody got into my car and took all my luggage. I had just flown in after 3 weeks working in France, so there was lots of stuff. My ex felt guilty because she was pretty sure she had not locked her door. She was used to doing it with a key fob instead of manually.

So we are looking through nearby dumpsters for my clothes and she decides to lift up a sheet of plywood and gasps. I asked her what she found and she said "The inevitable frozen corpse." I got out of the dumpster and had a look. Not a mark on him.

She started using that when she opened a container of bad food or saw a spider. We found it funny but we are sick people.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:05 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

There is a good fantasy short story about this very thing, called "Irregular Verbs" by Matthew Johnson. I don't know if it's available for free in print online, but I found it on Podcastle and enjoyed it a lot.
posted by JDHarper at 8:14 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm so glad to hear other people have these. (I mean, I knew, but it's kind of comforting hearing other people's and knowing you're not some lone pair of wierdos.)

The only one that comes to mind is something that I posted on Facebook a while back: You know you've been with someone for a long time when you can condense "I went to the store and got some more wet cat food because we were out" down into "NOMS GET".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:17 AM on September 16, 2015 [7 favorites]

This "death" thing is poorly designed and annoying. All the questions I can't ever ask my parents about our shared language and experiences. Luckily, I have managed to pass on some of the language to my wife...

"Behind that banner trailed so long a file
of people - I should never have believed
that death could have unmade so many souls."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:20 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

This seems like a good spot to leave one of my favorite poems by Updike. Whatever you might think of his work generally, it captures the fragile, irreplaceable singularity of all our relationships.

"Perfection Wasted"
John Updike

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.
posted by informavore at 8:27 AM on September 16, 2015 [45 favorites]

One of my favorite things on this planet is listening to my partner read the names of my Neko Atsume cats in a funny voice. I want to record him doing the cat voices, but I worry that it'd lose its charm without his actual presence accompanying the voices. Contemplating losing that forever is pretty devastating.

This reminds me, actually of the saddest (but loveliest) story I've ever encountered with my transport journo hat on - which this article actually reminded me of as well.

It used to be true that the voice that did the recorded announcements at Embankment station on the Underground was different to the one used elsewhere on the line.

It was the voice of a chap called Oswald Laurence who had recorded all the Northern Line announcements back in the seventies. Oswald had died in 2007 and, unbeknownst to everyone, after his death, his wife used to travel to work via Embankment every day and draw a little bit of strength from the fact that although he had gone, she still got to hear him every morning and - just for a moment - could pretend he was speaking just to her.

Then, one morning in about 2012 (I think) she arrived on the platform only to hear a female voice instead.

Distressed, she asked where the old voice had gone, and the station staff - slightly confused as to why it was important - told her that the system had been updated and, as part of that project, the announcements had all been re-recorded as a matter of course.

She'd lost the last little ritual connection she'd had to her husband.

Once the staff discovered why she was so upset, and after much internal searching, London Underground managed to find a recording of him doing the announcements and gifted it to her. And then, one morning, she was surprised to be greeted by his voice at Embankment once again - London Underground had worked out a way to hack the digital system to restore him just at that station.

I don't know whether it's still his voice at Embankment now. I don't think it is (eventually it just wouldn't have been practical to keep the old one), but even knowing that it happened briefly makes me feel a bit better about the world.
posted by garius at 8:52 AM on September 16, 2015 [111 favorites]

People become pastiches of those who are important to them.

When I was 22 I was involved with a smart, funny young woman; call her J. J was at the time several hours away at university and sharing a house with her best friend (also from our shared home town). J and I were together only a few months, but her out-sized personality meant I picked up some of her linguistic quirks and even now occasionally make an utterance that I realize J injected into my vocabulary a quarter-century ago.

When I was 32, I was involved with another smart, funny young woman: the one who had been J's best friend and housemate a decade earlier. More than once one of us made a stray observation or uttered a rejoinder that both of us instantly recognized as having come from J. Then an awkward silence would descend as we both realized there was a third person in the room or in the bed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:57 AM on September 16, 2015 [12 favorites]

2. (Expletive) The worst possible place/outcome/state. Derived from a time when we had to go to Margate.

Dreamland just reopened, so there's that.

If you are wondering.
posted by srboisvert at 9:05 AM on September 16, 2015

My spouse and I have a shared language of movie quotes. One day, he came home from the dojo and mentioned that one of the students, who had just gotten his black belt, had decided to stop studying karate for whatever reason. My immediate response was, "Ah, he hit his dinger and hung 'em up" (from Bull Durham); my husband then said that he had said that exact thing to someone at the dojo (who of course didn't understand the reference).

Also, we have been forbidden to be partners at Pictionary because we can draw nonsensical squiggles and the other will immediately know what it is.
posted by mogget at 9:24 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is Vonnegut's 'nation of two,' and I miss it.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

In our house "Jack help" is when your help is hindering someone else, because we have a cat who likes to come "help" with fiddly projects by swatting all the parts around. It's been spreading through our friend-circle because it's very useful with small children. "Mommy, I'm helping!" "You're kind-of Jack helping."

"Dropping wisdom turds" is when my husband gets a bit pompous and self-important and starts lecturing everyone. This came about because I made a pained face and said, "Are you about to launch some more bullshit?" and he was like, "Please -- they're wisdom turds." So now whenever he gets into his pompous mood we'll be like, "Uh oh, dad's about to drop some wisdom turds!" and it deflate the pomposity pretty quick.

We have a whole long inside joke relating to Jane Austen that we frequently reference when someone's talking about movies and one of us says to the other, "I just don't know how they can even make movies anymore without property entailment." We both crack up and people just look at us funny.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:30 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

my current relationship can never end because nobody else will understand why my boobs make Pacman ghost noises
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:35 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

i don't even understand

they just do.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:37 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

This has been the part of my divorce I'm having a really hard time with.

Thank you.
posted by PMdixon at 10:37 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]

oh metafilter, you honest paragraphs; I wander among your fragments.

let me give you a worthless gift: my respect for every ghost that haunts you.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2015 [28 favorites]

One way to test the done-ness of a steak is to use the flesh of your palm right below your thumb as a guide. A steak that feels like that spot on your palm with your index finger and thumb touching is rare. Middle finger to thumb is medium rare. All the way out at pinkie finger touching thumb is well done.

When in social situations, it is customary for my wife and I to exchange discreet hand gestures to this effect. Index-and-thumb? I'm doing good. Ring-and-thumb? Starting to get tired, maybe wrap it up soon. Pinkie and thumb? Get me the hell out of here.

We have a pretty deep vocabulary of other gestures and meaningful-only-to-us silent looks.
posted by tocts at 10:47 AM on September 16, 2015 [13 favorites]

Goddamit, garius. How am I supposed to teach a class with tears in my eyes?
posted by Xavier Xavier at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2015

My French long-term ex and I spent the first two years of our real-life relationship together (we had met on IRC two years earlier, and a first short meet IRL in Oregon) in Finland. We had several dear French friends in Helsinki, most of whom are still close with me now. French ex was abusive (and actually lost most of our old friends due to that, without me saying anything, so sometimes life does have some semblance of justice), but we did have quite the fun shared vocabulary.

Mainly we swore in Finnish, things like "vittu" (fuck) and "hevosen paska" (horseshit), both of which I still say when I don't want to be understood by anyone. But then there were the silly things our group would automatically say. "Bon, est-ce qu'on va keskusta ?", "haluan pizza", and our favorite, one I still come out with fifteen years later, "this is very many good." Because in Finnish it's grammatically correct ("oikein paljon hyvää"), so Finns would say it to us when they spoke English all.the.time. "Ah yes! Cheddar pizza! Very many good!"

"keskusta" = "to city center". We'd also just shout "KESKUS" (center) randomly because everything is "keskus" when you're navigating Finnish towns. Going to Tammisaari? You'll see signs for Tammisaari-keskus and be like, this is a keskus? Are you kidding me? A dozen single-story wood homes and a railway station? Okay. (I loved Tammisaari, worked there for a year.)

"haluan pizza" = "I want pizza", though I probably got the Finnish case wrong. It may be "pizzan".

that's all from me here in Mefi-keskus.
posted by fraula at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

Mr. Objects can never, ever die. I will never find another human with whom I can communicate almost entirely with cat noises, weird faces, and Clue quotes.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

Once I was sick in bed and I felt too crappy to get up and do a simple little thing--I don't even remember what it was--so I said to my spouse, "Would you do something stupid for me?"

She said, "OK!"--crossed her eyes, thumbed her nose, blew a raspberry. All in a split second without even thinking about it.

I laughed about this for the rest of the day.

It lives in infamy, and I cannot bear the thought of not being able to do something stupid for each other.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

My wife uses arrays to communicate ideas in writing

Here is an example from an arguement:

"When I'm upset, I realize that now() has ended, and I'm trying to solve for Next(time). I want my concerns acknowledged. So that I know they may be on the horizon for Next(time). "

I can't lose that.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

In a similar vein, Mrs. Hacker and I were banned from playing Pictionary on the same team before we were even married. There was consensus that she could NOT have guessed the word from those 2 lines I drew.
posted by skippyhacker at 2:22 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Whilst the article focuses on the death of a spouse, it's also true that this intimate language dies just as dead after a divorce. You still might talk, but all the punchlines fall flat.

Yes. My ex and I had a whole language that I've lost now, and every time a word or phrase or joke comes to mind that was ours it hits me all over again. There are words I'll never say again and never hear him say again even though we still talk from time to time. It really fucking hurts. I can't actually RTFA because I know I'll cry.
posted by billiebee at 4:28 PM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]

This article/thread make me realize that mrsturtle and I better both live forever, because I don't know how I'll deal otherwise.

Amen to that. Some British insurance company had a bilboard ad recently that showed a couple arm in arm, and the text (can't remember the exact words) said "One day, she won't be there"

Mrs 43rd and I started going out when I was 16. I've just turned 60, and I can honestly say that *that* ad hit me harder than any other, ever. It makes me feel very strange just thinking about it.

posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:47 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

JDHarper: There is a good fantasy short story about this very thing, called "Irregular Verbs" by Matthew Johnson. I don't know if it's available for free in print online, but I found it on Podcastle and enjoyed it a lot.

I was just about to mention this story as well; heard it on Podcastle too, and its really good. Here's a link to the podcast. I managed to find a copy of the text on Google too.
posted by destrius at 6:49 PM on September 16, 2015

It's true about divorce. Amazingly, my ex and I have managed to salvage a tiny bit of this.

When one of us needs to cut through the other's ego defenses in order to say something really important,
usually in matters of co-parenting, we email with the subject line, Neil Young.

This is code for: Please, take. My. Advice. Our shared code is that the request is never misused, and the one on the receiving end really does stop and pay attention. That was one we started before we were even married. It makes me happy that this little valuable thing has survived.
posted by Puddle Jumper at 7:12 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

My favourite shared phrase of my boyfriend's and mine is "pre-eminent affinities", which we picked up from an auto-translated menu in Japan nearly ten years ago. They were referencing the wonderful relationship between, I think, pork and wasabi. The same (wonderful) menu also recommended as a "must choice if you are innardian" mix of, well, innards. I love noticing our three year old daughter picking up this love language from us and adding to it as well. Lately her contribution is "lotsa lotsa" which is both self-explanatory and adorable. I love reading about or noticing the the love language of others and the way it can spread through a group over time and get richer and more complex with each person or layer of meaning added.
posted by Wantok at 9:24 PM on September 16, 2015

This article and the resulting comments here just leveled me into an inconsolable heap. I'm about to pull a High Fidelity and ask my ex's if they can remember any of the phrases and words we had together, because I know we had some but I can't remember them now. I've also decided to keep a journal of them in the next relationship I get into, and to write down the phrases my father says. Ugh. This is so heartbreaking. I don't want to die, and I don't want my parents to die, and I don't want to fall out of love or lose a friend ever again.
posted by gucci mane at 11:32 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I'm sniffling a little right now too. Damn.
posted by tangerine at 1:14 AM on September 17, 2015

I hope everyone reads One Hundred Names for Love, by Diane Ackerman (by the way, a judge on the nonfiction panel of the National Book Awards this year), in which she recounts her husband's stroke and his work to regain language, including the names that he comes up with for her after his stroke. A list of them closes the book.
posted by janey47 at 3:11 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

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