6th November 2003: Being able to talk about things

Thank you everyone who posted on my previous entry, I really appreciate the support and sympathy.

I’m fine, and Zorinth (of course) came home without any problems and we had dinner and he told me way more than I wanted to hear about Pirates of the Caribbean.

We’re very fortunate that we live in a period with such good medical tech and relatively few dangers, because death for us is something comparatively rare, something we can treat as unusually awful rather than as the part of everyday life it was in most historical eras. I do see this as a good thing, but it does mean that there’s an element of embarrassment to talking about it — not my embarassment, other people’s. Whenever I mention it, people start feeling, to quote Kate, like “insensitive clods” as if they shouldn’t have mentioned it or I shouldn’t have mentioned it or… at that point, it’s worse for them than for me, I am used to it. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day, so for a while I didn’t talk about it, or I talked about it very cautiously. This made simple questions from well-meaning people like “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” or “Why do you walk with a cane?” a minefield. It also meant I essentially couldn’t talk about my childhood, because I didn’t have an “I” childhood, I had a “we” childhood, and I couldn’t mention a simple normal thing about my childhood without bringing death into the conversation and entirely derailing it.

So a few years ago I decided to just go ahead and talk about it when I wanted to talk about it — this was pretty much when I was writing The King’s Peace/Name and one of the things that story is about is grief as a real thing. You don’t get over, you do go on. (I really hate the way that’s dealt with in most fiction.)

Anyway, thank you again for being there and coping with talking about things that can be difficult to talk about.

Posted in Among Others, Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face