Is it okay to yearn, to long for, to pine? And for how long? Some grief research has characterized prolonged yearning as “complicated grief,” which is imbued with negative connotations for social and psychological functioning. I can’t fathom not yearning for Kissie. I do it everyday, and expect to for the rest of my life. My yearning is a mixed emotional bag, and the extent of it varies from day to day, month to month, season to season. Sometimes my longing for her is a vast and wordless comfort, and, sometimes, it’s a huddled ball of second thoughts and bone-tiredness. My yearning has taken me on hours-long email reading expeditions as I devour our mundane and exultant exchanges, and fueled excavations of long-forgotten photos and the hoped for, glistening memories. My longing for her is part of my ongoing connection to her. And just as I hunger for the company of those I love who live far away, I ache for those who have died, knowing full well that our time as it once was has ended. I find it nourishing to openly acknowledge my longing, and to feel its many facets as fully and honestly as I can.
Is love itself not yearning? Grief, you are all the love I’ve yearned for, and found, and yearn for still.
4 thoughts on “To Yearn for You”
Grief, you are all the love I’ve yearned for, and found, and yearn for still.
Thanks for that, Mimi.
Thank you, Mary,
I welcome your writings about Kissie. When you share your memories and feelings, I get to know you better. Often, I also realize something about myself. I haven’t found a definitive time for grief to end and don’t expect to, whatever name we give to missing someone who isn’t here.
Sometimes I miss someone so much that I cry. I miss their presence, which is so clear in my mind, but not to actually be again, at least not here in this time. For weeks, I have been yearning to be with my grandmother. It feels like a physical pain. My face hurts, my body is sore, I feel trapped behind a glass where I can see Chadie but we can’t touch or speak to each other. I do cry sometimes. I talk to her. I’ve told her that Im sorry for some little things. I was 26 when she died, unable to attend her funeral because I was given the (unasked for) responsibility of caring for my young brother and sister, my nephew and my two children in another state. My parents had come to visit and then flew to New York for Chade’s funeral. For a long time, I was bitter about not being able to say goodbye at that time. I did get drunk and try to tell my boyfriend about her. That wasn’t helpful! I finally realized that I was never going to say goodbye, so I stopped trying. She seems to “visit” me when I need to see her. She was the safest, most loving, funniest and most present person in my childhood. I couldn’t cry then but I know she wouldn’t have minded if I did.
That is how “grieving”my grandmother is, forty-two years later. I also smile a lot, when I think of her, just like I did when I was with her. I’m smiling now having shared a bit of her with you.
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Thank you so much for sharing your grief and yearning for Chadie, Maureen, and all she means to you. Hearing about your bond, grief, and gratitude for her reminds me of my Nana and I. She died 28 years ago last month, and I miss her still.
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