Friday, October 8

The derivative of Pain

On suffering

Sir took a shower today. It was... as always is, an experience. But with many many doubts, and much confusion on the way... a shower became the hot water of temperament.

Hot hot water... good for cleansing the soul? No?

One would surmise that the shower is the best form of cleansing, at this time, this place, that is our place... 20...something century. What if there were times that the shower, i.e. the act of cleansing, is a farce? Where would we be now?

Perhaps enough cleansing of words, enough prettyi-fying of our experience.

When a friend is dying, one would say the the act of cleansing is a ritual. Next question: what is the act of cleansing? What is the act of pretty-fying? How and where do we start to see that the end is near, that the sanctifying of the human existence can step in to our word of grief?

Living with grief is the world only known to those that have lived with grief. It is seldom talked about, sometime written about. Grief exists in many many forms. Sir has an amazing friend who is able to vocalise/sanctify/publish the grief of others through his writing, yet seems unable to write about his own. Why such a block, methinks, I do not know.

Sir's wife, a wonderful creative and unknowingly poetic woman, is living with grief as it flows.. with one that is dying. The death is a concept that we understand, in terms of now alive, now dead. But the death of a loved one is not so sanctified in such short terms... where does the death begin? Where does it end? We only have the experience of life... life around us, life encompassing us, life in our loved one as we see it disappear.. and what does that really mean? Life is gone.

Our experience of it however is such a different turn. It is private, and can become public. If we are lucky it is a shared event. Sir's mother spent two nights with her, on the train of passing, from the place of life to the place of peace. Many many times of conversation, for the dying are alone, but do not want to be alone.

Sir's wife is an amazing woman. Creative, loving and kind. With the kindness comes a belief that there are others that are, too, kind. So with the death that is unfolding, Sir has to say that there is no other place that would be better to be, in this time, this space and this knowing.

Our experience of death makes us change... yes perhaps Sir has harped on about this too long. But she thinks not. There is not enough writing about people that are gone. Our memories are one thing, but the truth about the person that was well loved is another entirerly. Perhaps the person was loved in part... perhaps not fully loved but loved none the less. What then?

Sir's experience of suffering is just so. The feeling of the death of another is heavy. It weighs... and this weight has an exactness. It does change, so could be described as a derivative of pain, from one day to another. Sometimes the pain is more, sometimes it is less. The pain constant is what we carry in our hearts, about our loved one, about the positive and negative weights that we have associated with them. Because of course, when our loved one is dead all we have is our constants.

Sir's wife is at the beginning. Sir knows that the beginning of a scale and graph of pain is none that no other can know. It is a lifeline of feeling. It begins, but does not end.


  1. there is a language, there is a weight. x

  2. These ideas of beginnings and endings become so much more complicated by being within / beside / scattered across grieving. What would an ending look like? JD says that the very first encounter with the friend/lover is the beginning of grief, since we know one will witness the other dying at some stage, unless we kill the care first, as some of us prefer to... take control of what isn't ours to control, that unbearable careening, or being-careened by life. Real life, etched out by a death always there. People do try to live outside this possibility. They try. There is a quote that says: Enlightenment is like having your heart broken, over and over.

  3. I keep returning to this post again and again. I think of your words and quote them to others. So sad, so wise, so true. thank you. XX

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