Friday, May 22, 2015

Death and Grief

This is, in part, an Agents of Shield reaction post to the Season 2 finale, "S.O.S. part 2." If you desire to be completely spoiler-free, you might wish to watch that first. That said, I don't intend to discuss Agents of Shield itself, it's more my own thoughts, influenced by the show, that build on my recent blogposts and other articles I've read and topics I want to write about.

It starts with a story that I read from Anthony de Mello, that comes from the Rabbinical tradition. There once was a woman who lost a family member. Perhaps her husband, perhaps her child, she lost someone she loved, and she wanted them back. She went to the Rabbi and asked him how she could bring her loved one back. The Rabbi told her she could weave a shroud for them, but she must obtain the thread from houses that had not known death. And so she knocked on every door in the village, but every house had known death.

"Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. But involve me, and I’ll understand." - Dr. Herb True, paraphrasing Xunzi

I've written a lot about grief in the past two years, particularly on Glee forums since the untimely passing of Cory Monteith. The popular 7 phases of grief (shock, anger, denial, bargaining, acceptance) do happen, but not in any particular order nor on a given timeframe. Every person grieves in their own way, and grief has it's own time.

One can reach acceptance of the death of a lost loved one, then later find that wound re-opened, a fresh wave or new layer of grief, years after the fact. Sometimes the renewed grief may be triggered by a date: their birthday, their death day, an important anniversary. Sometimes renewed grief is triggered by a scent, a sound, an experience. And sometimes renewed grief may be triggered by words on a page.