Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Sunday Salon: How We Cope With Grief

Last night I watched “A Single Man,” starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult. This is a first film for photographer, Tom Ford. If you know Ford, you will recognize his signature style. The people are beautiful, the scenes are beautiful but the main character is filled with grief and loss. In a tragic accident, Firth’s lover was killed. Close to a year later, George (Firth) decides he can’t continue his orderly and empty life. He can’t believe he can be happy again and so he prepares his suicide. Through a series of flashbacks we come to know George’s life with John. The movie doesn’t make any judgments and the synopsis suggests more than the film does. The film presents a series of events and leaves it to audience to interpret the relationships and outcomes.

With the movie fresh on my mind, today’s celebration creates an odd juxtaposition. It’s Mother’s Day and like many hallmark holidays, I am ambivalent. Familial relations are intractably tied to holidays and so often these days are tainted because they remind us of our estranged relationships or the loss of those we loved.

Most of the day, I’ve been trying to write a cohesive query. By my estimation this is clunky but we’re past midday so here it is: Are days like today more often celebratory or mournful for you? Have you had to deal with the loss of a lover or family member? How do you cope with grief? Have you ever tried to you explain to others why you struggle to move on? Have you ever tried to explain your sadness to yourself?

8 comments:

Gavin said...

In my experience, grief is like the ocean. At first I found myself overwhelmed, drowning, later it was like riding in a small boat. Sometime the waves were gentle, sometimes not so. Time has helped me move on and I often feel the presence of the people I have lost surrounding me. That brings me solace.

I find it is hard to express support and empathy for someone who has lost a loved one. It seems sympathy cards are too syrupy and shallow and I struggle to find the right words. How do others deal with this?

nathaliemvondo said...

It's sour sweet for me as well, at least initially, but then I find myself happy for others.

Sour because I miss my family and especially my mom on a day like this (to be honest almost every day, I haven't lived with my family for decades so missing them is an acute feeling), though I believe that it is not necessary to wait a particular day to celebrate the mothers we know...

Sweet because of my friends, the ones who are mothers. I like to take the opportunity to celebrate them and encourage them, because I know how challenging parenting can be...

Thank you for the post, Susan.

mel u said...

I wanted to share this completely offensive legacy of colonial that is being widely advertised on TV here in the Philippines-here is a quote from their web page

"SkinWhite, one of the leading skin whitening products brand
in the Philippines, recently launched its line for teens. Developed to help whiten teen's skin without being harsh, SkinWhite Whitening Lotion for Teens will bring out a brand new you. With its slogan: "Start Right, Start White!", the skin whitening line aims to boost teenagers' confidence and help give them that smooth and white skin they want. SkinWhite Whitening Lotion for Teens has 3 exciting scents, Glam Berry, Tropical Bliss and Pretty Plum, to suit each teens preference.

SkinWhite Whitening Lotion for Teens is available in 50 ml and 100 ml bottles. Available in all leading supermarkets and drugstores nationwide."

In the ads on TV they have young teen age girls in the 13 or so age range with skin tones far lighter than typical singing "Start Right, Start White"-the ads run daily in prime time

here is the web page

http://whiteningtreatments.blogspot.com/2010/03/skinwhite-whitening-lotion-for-teens.html

GusF_Finkbeiner1209 said...

Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................

nathaliemvondo said...

Mel U, the ad you shared is... I don't have a word strong enough to express my anger.

mel u said...

nathaliemvondo-the ad is really evil-it aims directly at the self esteem of young girls when they are subject to peer pressure and self esteem issues-I tell my daughters skin color has nothing to do with the worth of a person etc but it is so hard to fight a media that has constant ads for skin products like TeenWhite-(and the products do not work to make it worse!)

mel u said...

In case any body wants to see it here is a link to the SkinWhite for Teens commercial being shown now in Prime time on all major Filipino TV networks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTbv2-OF6Z8

Color Online said...

Mel,

Did you add this link to RAWW? I will. Thanks.