There is no doubt that past generations used to be better equipped for the handling of grief. Our aseptic modern world has certainly done some incommensurable damages protecting us from all the vagary of life. It’s not all for the wrong reason, mind you. After all, life expectancy has improved and, statistically speaking, we’re simply less likely to face one of the harshest realities of life; its ending.
Of course, globalism and consumerism have brought deaths by the numbers on our shiny flat screen but there are just that; numbers. The covid-19 drama, tonight at 9pm.
The moment the covid-19 death rate passed the threshold of one thousand a day in France last year, the French newspapers, in unison, decided to report only the “deaths in hospital” and were quick to bury the rest of the dead. No pun intended, not today. The “numbers” were everything.
The most difficult part of grieving is that I have to force myself to not think. The wrong word, the wrong image – the wrong thought even – and I will break. But I must think. I need to think. Otherwise, guilt quickly settles in. “How dare you avoid the object of your grief? So soon, already?” says the accusing voice.
Thinking about Tom Lincoln again, as he carefully assembles the wood planks of his wife’s coffin the day of her death. Would any of us be able to even stand?
Thinking about you mom. Rest in peace.