If We Love, We Grieve. That’s The Deal. That’s The Pact.
November 3, 2018 2:33 PM   Subscribe

I still listen at night for my dogs breathing in her bed next to mine. Sometimes I hear her. Now her urn sits where her bed used to be. I'm aware it's not her- its just the remains of her corporeal form encased in a tasteful faux rock, but I hope tonight I can hear her breathing, if only in my mind.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2018 [23 favorites]

I am coming into my third holiday season without my mother, and it's hard; she loved the holidays so much. I only remember anything about the first one because of what I posted on LJ; it is gone, like so much of that year, from my head. She's been tromping through my dreams more lately, and the idea that she might be doing that to put some love back into me is a comfort.

We grieve we love we love we grieve. Were it not so, but I wouldn't do without the love, so I'll have to take the grief.
posted by joycehealy at 3:27 PM on November 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

The public face of Cave's grief in the face of the unimaginable has been a lesson in radical, mindful gentleness. Anyone who hasn't watched One More Time With Feeling should check it out (it's on Prime in the US currently), with the caveat that it is a quiet subtle thing - there are no fireworks, it's not a reality TV show for consuming someone else's pain - but you can feel what's underneath, profoundly.

It feels strongly like every word and action Cave and Bick publicly take is meant to hold space for their surviving son and it is hard for me to imagine being so graceful and mindful and fair in their place.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

When someone very close to me died, I fell into a state of mourning that was unlike anything I'd ever known in my adult life (I had experienced severe depression as an adolescent, but I mostly laughed off despair after about the age of 22 as self-indulgent and a waste of time). It was impossible for me to imagine going on. I immediately got stupidly involved with someone I shouldn't have, and that helped, but I still felt the nearness of death. I wasn't suicidal, but I wasn't taking any steps to get better, and I was heading for a bad situation. One night I had a dream that she was with me, but her eyes were just a smear. She said, "The part of me you loved is gone." It was agony. I'm not sure if it was real, or just something my mind was desperate to tell me. I'm not sure it really matters, because if some part of her was left, it's not a part that a living person can relate to. Anyway, that was long ago. I obviously got better, I guess, as much as we do.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:13 PM on November 3, 2018 [15 favorites]

That man has such a fucking amazing talent with words.
posted by bendy at 5:33 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yes. I want to paste the whole thing here. But, no. Click the damned link.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:57 PM on November 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow does this help me see differently the grief from the end of a powerful relationship (not from death thankfully, yet one where I will still see the other person in social circles from time to time, where I have to hold her existence and non-existence simultaneously).

"The part of me you loved is gone"
true words.... thank you, kittens for breakfast
posted by kokaku at 4:15 AM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Death of a loved one cuts a piece of you out, and leaves a hole. Grief is being acutely aware of that fresh hole. Moving on is accepting that the hole will always be there, and trying to fill it with the good things you shared with them.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:17 AM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

These words coming from Cave have had a semblance of a healing effect on me unexpectedly. I always considered him one of my remaining living idols, despite how troubled and destructive and downright horrid he could be in his youth. Seeing the effect his son's death had on him and his music was heartbreaking but also deeply humanizing. A year later I would experience my own series of losses, starting with a beloved pet and familiar and then progressing into a string of close friends and loved ones that, while not dead, left me feeling completely alone in the world as they left our once shared town. I had to live with my broken heart, grief, a web of ghosts, as well as the overwhelming belief that nothing was worth loving as the act often left me destroyed when it was gone. It's irrevocably changing and one of the aspects of aging and living a full life that one never expects. And while part of me, having lived through a friend's suicide in my early 20s that left me searching for answers for why I couldn't shake his presence everywhere I went, knew that grief goes hand-in-hand with love, it never struck me as something to simply accept and relish (rather than attempt to avoid or escape) as a factor of the human (no, animalistic) condition until I read Cave's simple yet happily resigned wisdom regarding it.
posted by Young Kullervo at 8:50 AM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have never told this to anyone before, but here goes: I have been burying people for twenty-two years; family members, friends, acquaintances, and people I never met. From time to time, I will be out in public and out of the corner of my eye, I will see someone who I could swear was someone I performed a funeral for years ago. I mean, it is enough to stop me in my tracks for a moment.

I am not trying to overly-spiritualize this or assume that I am seeing ghosts or anything. But it does bring that person back into my mind, sometimes for the rest of the day, and i have to say, it is kind of nice, remembering again all that was good about this person, especially if it was someone from a long time ago.

Five years ago, my mother-in-law died suddenly and unexpectedly after an accident, and for a while, my wife would have the most vivid dreams about her. She would awaken in the middle of the night and tell me how real it all was, and how it was like she was in the room.

I guess we do our best to try to make the most of these little epiphanies, letting them give us an opportunity to sort of be with these saints again, if even for a moment, if even only in our hearts and minds.

Thanks for this fpp, chavenet.
posted by 4ster at 11:33 AM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

After reading this thread I watched One More Time With Feeling and it's amazing. It shows the making of Skeleton Tree and includes some of Cave's spoken word poetry.
Steve McQueen
posted by bendy at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2018

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