Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Poetic loss

I don't want you all to think I'm being excessively morbid these days, what with my recent string of death announcements. Still, I believe strongly in noting passings because I think they leave traces of something behind for the rest of us. They speak to a continuity that goes beyond any one life, and is often difficult for us to see because we're so heads-down with the process of simply making it through another day.

With that in mind, I read obituaries ravenously. Even the little one-paragraph announcements in the paper have a story behind them. Sometimes the story lurks between the lines, while at other times it hangs out there, its pain obvious to anyone who takes the time to look.

The Toronto Star ran a particularly poignant one in yesterday's paper. Entitled A poet voiceless without his muse, it tells the story of a gifted poet, Richard Outram, who froze himself to death last week, two years after his wife passed away. It struck a very deep chord within me, for how he saw his wife, and defined his life by his relationship with her, is how I see myself and mine. I write today because of her. As such, my voice comes from her, and I have no idea what I'd do if she weren't there.

Reading this piece, I was suddenly afraid of what I'd do if I were alone. I felt a stark stab of cold that had nothing to do with the chill winds blowing past the gable on my house.

Read, then appreciate, then please come back and share your thoughts on how you would cope if you suddenly lost the most important pillars of support in your life.


Mike Wood said...

Before my dad died about 4 and a half years ago, I made a promise to him to not give up aspirations of being a published writer. He was an editor, earlier in life, at Oxford University Press in Toronto, and really kicked my ass when it came to writing. I tried in the 1990s to get published and aside from a couple of local community newspapers never managed to get it done. I see blogging as an interim step to serious writing. It allows me to maintain that promise and helps me deal with one of the most important people in my life not being around. Not sure what he would make of a blog though. It it's isn't the Queen's English most of the time, but it does keep the muse in me ticking. :)

Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

This, is exactly what I was referring to in my post.

What a lovely story, of a man and woman so devoted to each other.

MrBob said...

A great post! I think when you find that right one, it's consuming... and not in a bad way!

rose said...

I'm very close to my grandmother, and often thought of how I would come to terms with her death should she die. According to my faith, death is only a temporary passing and a beginning to a new life. However, it's always easier to philosophize than to put it into practice.

When death eventually comes to any of my loved ones, I think I would be lost, on top of crying my eyes out, and needing lots of time to heal the pain.

Gonzo said...

This past Feb. 11th marked the 5th anniversary of my mother's passing, and my sister wrote me asking if it would ever stop hurting. My best-guess response was that it's not supposed to stop hurting, for if we didn't feel pain at the loss of a loved one, we wouldn't also have the capacity for great joy. While pain is never welcome or fun, it is a natural part of our existence as emotional beings. Trying to go through life without feeling pain would result in a very dull life, I'd imagine.

So, I fall back on a traditional Jewish phrase spoken at someone's passing, "May his/her memory be a blessing." We are so very fortunate to have had time with those we love, for having loved is the ultimate human experience.

Red said...

I have not, yet, lost the pillars of my life - my family is the greatest gift I've ever received on Earth. My mother, brother, sister, and now a new nephew.

When my mother passes on, I think I'll feel quite hollow, probably unable to function or stop crying for several days to several weeks, until I'm able to face the fact that she is no longer with me.

She is my example of everything I want to be, my superwoman in blue jeans, my heart and my best friend.

Kung Pow Pig said...

I haven't lost anyone I truly love, yet. I tell myself that everyone dies and that dying is a part of life. I know that it will pobably wreck me so bad when it finally happens that I try to prepare myself for the worst.

It's a bit morbid, but I don't like nasty surprises.

Gel said...

Hi ! I'm enjoying my first visit here & will bookmark you. :)I came here via a recommendation from a new regular reader. (L of "I eat Books" and "Random_Speaks) Her links are on my blog.

She recommended your blog for your writings & photographs, two interests we share.

I'm skipping reading the comments here in this post, because I'm a voracious reader, writer, besides being an artist. I love to read and write poetry, too.

A recent post of mine is a prose piece about memories of my grandmother. It was written and typed in 15 min off-the-cuff, but there on my blog is where I can express emotions without concern of editing and judgement.

I'm going to nose around here more unless our power flickers b/c of the snowstorm. Enjoying my visit here! Thanks! :)