Grief Revisited

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not writing in this blog that much this summer. It’s mostly because I’m working on another blog project that is consuming most of my time (The Farm). But it’s also because I’m not as interested in troublemaking right now. Instead, I’m focused more on storytelling. Which is still connected to troublemaking; I like to tell stories that disrupt and cause trouble. But, it feels like my interests don’t fit in this blog space. Am I right? Not sure.

I anticipated not writing in this blog at all this summer. What would I write about? Then, this morning, as I looked over my twitter feed and read about how Scott Simon was live-tweeting from his dying mom’s hospital bed. Wow. He tweets some powerful expressions of love, grief, sadness and gratitude. I definitely want to add his tweets to my archive of caring uses of twitter. Here’s one of the (many) Storify collections of his tweets. And here’s one of the tweets that especially resonated with me. I remember singing to my mom before she died:

Simon’s live-tweeting is not my first encounter this month with kids’ stories about losing their moms. I’m almost finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. It’s a powerful account of how she became undone by her mother’s death from cancer and struggled to make sense of her life and her grief by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, from California to Oregon. I also just read a chapter in Dorothy Allison’s Two or Three Things I Know For Sure about the death of her mom (again, from cancer). And, I’ve just started Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith. In the few pages that I’ve read so far, she recounts the final weeks before her mom dies (of cancer, of course). Am I forgetting anything? Probably.

While it might not seem like it, I didn’t plan to read so many books about moms, death and cancer. I guess it just happened. Maybe it’s because so many people are losing their moms to cancer. Maybe it’s because, now that my mom has died, I’m more aware of (and drawn to) stories about grief and loss. And, maybe it’s because I finally, after almost four years, have enough distance from my mom’s painful dying and death to read about other’s experiences.