I came across this quote a few days ago: “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” Maybe not, but how did D.H. Lawrence know what birds feel? Perhaps a bird can chirp away and put on a façade like the rest of us.

This is something I wrote last week. I stopped writing after this paragraph, because I had the idea that I was too sad and self-pitiful to be writing a blog.

Today I have been feeling vulnerable. I feel unable to hide the fact that am not feeling strong. I am not strong against how much it hurts to keep walking forward without Susanna. I always say she is with me, and she is, nothing can be more true. But I don’t want her to be dead anymore, not today. I don’t want to be full of cracks and fissures. I don’t want to interact with people on top of hidden tears. I don’t want to have this death thing anymore. Just for today, I want to refuse it. Frankly, it just hurts too much.

I no longer feel ashamed of this. This is just the truth. There is a Chinese proverb which says, “You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair”. I think this speaks of being sad when you are but continuing to live. A great many things can be accomplished while sad. To me, a sad person with a good heart is as beautiful as a joyful person with a good heart. Losing Susanna after loving her so much has made me an understander of any sadness. I will never again say to someone, “Cheer up, it is not so bad”. No matter what is bringing you down, I am the one to support you and tell you to take your time.

On the continuum, there is no time limit to a feeling. The consensus is that when we get to the other side we go through a “life review”. I hope that when I get there, mine is thorough and comprehensive. I want to see every horrible and wonderful moment again, all at the same time. There will be joy and sorrow but, I think, no record of what the dates and frequency and time spans are. We are here to learn, not fill out a ledger.

The birds are beginning to gather in Brooklyn, fall being around the corner. Perhaps they are having a warmup party before the V-shaped trip to Florida. The party before the party. I do not know how they feel as they squawk and canoodle. I am sorry to see the summer end, but I also have places to get to.



By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: