In which I rant a bit about loss and grief.
See, I warned you. But, hey now, don't run away.......I will try to make some of this funny although you may have never considered any of those subjects as having any humor to them. Perhaps I had better begin by passing along a joke sent to me by my dear friend, Bob Ringwald, Master Jazz Musician, Raconteur, proud Father of Molly and provider of almost daily smiles via email, godblesshim. Here's one of his latest offerings.
(even if you have already heard this one, it is still funny,)
The Pickle Slicer
Yossel Zelkovitz worked in a Polish pickle factory.
For many years he had a powerful desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer.
Unable to stand it any longer, he sought professional help from a psychologist.
After six months, the therapist gave up. He advised Yossel to go ahead and do it
or he would probably never have any peace of mind.
The next day he came home from work very early. His wife, Sacha, became alarmed and
wanted to know what had happened.
Yossel tearfully confessed his tormenting desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer.
He went on to explain that today he finally went ahead and did it, and he was immediately
Sacha gasped and ran over to her husband. She quickly yanked down his pants and shorts
only to find a normal, completely intact penis.
She looked up and said, "I don't understand. What about the pickle slicer?"
Yossel replied, "I think she got fired, too." ~~
And now back to the less acceptable subjects.
Like so many of my thoughts, ideas and convictions, my attitudes toward dealing with loss and grief and guilt are unorthodox and irreverent. I have cockamamie ideas about loss, and grieving. And guilt. I may have to write a whole separate chapter on guilt. We'll see. For now I will just ramble on the first two.
Recently I have done some grieving of my own over loss of a dear, young member of my family and also have suffered with some of my beloved blog family who are grieving and I keep wishing I could help those who have lost someone and are in pain. Unfortunately, it seems that only love and sympathy help a bit..(.and the bringing of hams and casseroles, of course) ....words and suggestions are useless. What a shame, since I have so many of them. But it just occurred to me that perhaps they might be helpful to someone who is not in the throes of grief and so I will muse on about some of the most avoided subjects known to mankind (and womankind too.)
Loss......hell, there is so much loss in life. First you lose your childish innocence, then your virginity, your youthful freshness, your good looks, your ideals, some of your hair, maybe your teeth, your mobility, your marbles, all hope and finally your life. Bummer. The only one you don't regret is your virginity. And you lose your heart a bunch of times, but always get it back, wounded and battered, but take heart (couln't resist) .........with some crazy glue and duct tape you can usually fix that enough for you to go on and lose it again.
And you lose people you love, some people who you didn't love so much (and maybe did not love at all) but who were important in shaping your life for better or worse and you lose some people without whom you are sure you can't go on living....but you can and you will and you do......somehow.
You might never know it by my outward mostly cheerful demeanor, but I have suffered a lot of losses in my life, a lot of mistreatment and a lot of pain from it all. But I cannot and never could stand the process of long, drawn-out grieving over each incident. Like pulling off a bandage fastened to you with sticky tape which you know is going to hurt, I prefer to pull it off all at once, yell one big "OUCH" and be done with it. It just hurts for so much longer if you try to do it slowly.. Suffer and get it over with, I say. Not easy, but a desirable goal.
I know some people who cling to a particular loss, protect it, fan the flame of pain and build the rest of their lives around it as though it were the life project they were meant for......they even form support groups similar to AA (this is true, honest) where they meet regularly for years with others who have the same mindset and supposedly help each other by exchanging sympathy and memories but actually help more (I think) to keep the wounds from healing. I consider this a real addiction and a shameful self indulgence....endless and excessive mourning does not help the dear departed one bit. Does it really help the person with the loss? I dunno.....I can't see how. I have a theory about it (I have theories about nearly everything, haven't you noticed?) It seems to me that they are so angry at God for taking their beloved that they don't know what to do with the feeling (unacceptable) so they convert it into a monster grief (acceptable) which they can express openly. Trouble is, grief will usually diminish in time but rage never does so they are stuck in a very bad place. Kind of like a life lost over a life lost. So pitiful.....what a waste.
For me, I have learned that nothing lasts forever. Even the good stuff changes and evolves. If we can, we should cherish the good while we have it, tolerate the bad until it goes away or we can get rid of it and constantly be grateful for whatever joy we have had and may continue to be blessed with. .
Oh, yes....one more thing. As far as losing a Lover is concerned, that is totally different. I guess am a monster who is incapable of continuing to mourn over the loss of someone who hurts me, uses me, shames me, fails me, abandons, deceives and deserts me. When my fiancee, my first real,, adult (?) love-of-my-life dumped me 2 inches from the altar when I was 20, I wept bitter tears for a few hours moaning about what would I do without him. . Then I suddenly realized what a huge favor he had done both of us by revealing the flaws in our relationship BEFORE we got married. I heaved a sigh of relief, gathered up all the soggy kleenex and said, "Oh, thank you, Dick." (no, no, that was his name). I then went to sleep trusting that tomorrow would be a better day and the hole in my heart would heal and, of course, it did. . As did all of the countless other holes in my heart and wounds of various kinds inflicted over the many years. I have found that losing something or someone is sometimes so much better than having to keep it and live with it.
Ho boy, is it ever!
The New Yorker covers: August 18, 1975
8 hours ago