Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How you feel is how you feel

Some people, kind people, don't understand that the way to be a friend is to sit alongside a sad person, and to accept their feelings....to accept their feelings as valid. 

Some people, kind people, think the way to be a friend to someone who is sad is to try to persuade them to see the bright side - "Cheer up - it's not the end of the world!" "Cheer up - think of all the things you have to be grateful for!"

If you do that, the sad person feels misunderstood and even more alone than they did already.

Let's learn to accept how other people feel, no matter how uncomfortable it is for us, because it's the best way there is to comfort them.

Yesterday it was Mary's anniversary - two years since she died. I felt happy. I was still in the dancing zone. It was a bright sunny day after a week of yukh. I considered this - that I was feeling happy - and thought - Well, I am not going to feel sad or feel guilty about being smiley on Mary's anniversary. I miss Mary everyday. Everyday. There is a big Mary-shaped gap in my life that no-one else will ever fill, and if I don't feel sad on this particular day, I know Mary wouldn't mind, so why should I?

Mary with her two lovely daughters

Grief is a thing which varies from day to day and there's no making sense of it, no pattern to depend on so you can protect yourself. It hits you hard and unexpectedly sometimes and then it recedes. 

I've been considering poems about grief and bereavement this early morning, and this is the one that captures how I felt yesterday. Today could well be different. 

The Dead Woman
If suddenly you do not exist,
if suddenly you no longer live,
I shall live on.
I do not dare,
I do not dare to write it,
if you die.
I shall live on.
For where a man has no voice,
there, my voice.
Where blacks are beaten,
I cannot be dead.
When my brothers go to prison
I shall go with them.
When victory,
not my victory,
but the great victory comes,
even though I am mute I must speak;
I shall see it come even
though I am blind.
No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive,
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.
Pablo Neruda


marmee said...

wonderful poem!

lyn said...

Thank you for that poem, Sue. I've loved it ever since it was quoted in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Sometimes sadness is the only feeling & it's a shame that the world finds it so hard to deal with it.

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, I love its rendition in Truly Madly Deeply - one of my favourite films.