Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Monday, August 01, 2005

Mixed Sunday Feelings

As I work on drafting the next post in my "Aaron's Story" series, working through my confused, opposing feelings around that work (as discussed earlier), my mind returns to a somewhat related emotional contrast that occurred yesterday.

Debbie, the kids and I spent Sunday afternoon at the beach. The beach has always been one of the very few Sunday outings that we and the kids would all agree on. This reason alone, apart from our own enjoyment, would be enough for Debbie and me to find going to the beach wonderfully calming, yet revitalizing. This summer, though, another contrasting emotion has been inescapably present during our visits - a heightening of our sense of loss. As we watched the kids enjoying the sand and surf, we were acutely aware of now being a family of five. No, not of five - of six minus one.

Later that evening, we watched the new episode of "Six Feet Under", a dark serio-comedy about a family-owned funeral home. I have developed an incongruous, perhaps even morbid interest in this show of late. A trademark of this series is there is invariably at least one death per episode - usually of a previously-unknown individual who is later attended to at the funeral home. On this particular, extremely well-done and riveting episode [spoiler warning], the main character of the series is the one to die - of a brain hemorrhage.

Hard to imagine something that should have hit closer to home, or been harder for me to watch, right? But why then, did the beach outing bring out the difficult, painful emotions of the day, while watching this show, which practically re-enacted our personal nightmare in detail, did not?

And why do I now find dealing with weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other social events to be so much harder than dealing with death and mourning-related events?

Yes, these questions are rhetorical. But it doesn't mean they don't keep me up at night.

6 Comments:

At 8/1/05, 7:24 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

So many questions and sometimes so few answers. At least few that seem satisfying.

 
At 8/1/05, 7:28 PM, Blogger With Love said...

Elie,

First let me say how sorry I am to read of your loss. Unfortunately, I am also a member of the club no one wants to join, and so have a special empathy for what you are going through.

My experience has also sometimes been that happy family experiences remind me of my daughter's loss more than do direct death-related experiences. I think the reason, at least for me, is that my defenses are up for dealing with death. But happy family occasions bring home very sharply just what my daughter has missed and will never experience, as well as what we are missing by not having her with us on those occasions - at just those times when we are least prepared.

May God comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Sara

 
At 8/2/05, 12:14 PM, Blogger Glen Holman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/2/05, 12:15 PM, Blogger Glen Holman said...

Elie,
At a simcha, your child’s presence is that much more obvious. Why isn't my child here? There is no other reason than the fact that they have passed. It is sort of in your face. As far as the mourning related events, when you have seen death up close, it is that much less scary.

glen

 
At 8/3/05, 11:58 AM, Blogger Elisheva said...

I'm just guessing, but maybe because in death-related experiences you feel that there are others sharing your pain? And at simchas, no one seems to be in pain? Just a guess. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

 
At 8/11/05, 11:52 PM, Anonymous ben said...

why would going to the beach make u sad water is supposed to wash out your brain

 

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