For the few of you who occasionally check my blog, my absence has been a long one. I've been in no mood to post my ruminations, opinions, or point of view. Ten months into 2013 I can say unequivocally, it's been a bad year. I lost my father in July. He was 91, a veteran journalist and columnist, who passed through the first subtle, then pronounced, stages of dementia over the last decade. Another member of my family has been in steady decline for the past few years. Not due to health reasons, but a far more complicated affliction that offers no easy answers. Both of these events have plunged me into a state of bereavement that shows little sign of letting up.
The best book I've read on the subject of grief is "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion. I read it after my mother died eleven years ago. I recently reread it just before my father made his exit, unaware of the timing, about to confront the same theme again. One of the most telling details in the book is Didion's inability to get rid of her deceased husband's shoes, because he will need them when he "comes back." We're often irrational when we lose a loved one. Or we maintain a stoic posture. We drift through the days feeling robbed, despite one indisputable fact: as Jim Morrison said, "No one gets out of here alive."
These losses force us to face our own mortality. I look at my sons and wonder how they will "handle" me when I'm old. I feel pressure to accomplish certain goals because I'm not getting any younger. I'm grieving for two generations: my dad's, with his stellar record of WWII service and innumerable professional achievements. And my children's: a world where communication is breaking down (everyone staring at their various screens), where the idea that they will find gainful employment is tenuous, where their country's government is hopelessly dysfunctional.
I submit such depressing commentary only to explain why this Edgy Blogger has been MIA for so long. Maybe some readers will think it a sob fest, self-pitying and indulgent. But for anyone who's dealt with or is dealing with this state, perhaps it's nice to know you are not alone.