BlogHer Voice of the Week: crib chronicles
By Elisa Camahort on July 26, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
Last week BlogHer featured a post on how to recognize the signs when someone is drowning in water. A wake-up call for many I've talked to (and for me) that we don't always know the signs. This week, we were completely drawn in as Bon from crib chronicles delved into the signs of an entirely different kind of drowning in her post "at the red light". Her vivid depiction of how grief manifests...from overt demonstrations to barely noticeable omissions...has earned her our vote for BlogHer Voice of the Week.
Her story begins with a chance encounter. Sitting at a stoplight, something draws her to turn and look at the woman sitting in the car to her right. She captures a glimpse of grief...unmistakable, overwhelming, easily recognizable, even as it is unexplained:
she was weeping.
or rather, she was bawling, howling, self-immolating in the driver’s seat of her car. weeping sounds demure. her shoulders heaved and shuddered against the back of her seat and her hands fluttered against her face and there was clearly snot in with the tears and my heart leapt out of me in sympathy at the sight of her.
What to do? If you knew someone was drowning in water, stranger or not, you would take action. Call for help, throw out a lifeline, dive in if you had to. But what do you do when someone, particularly a stranger, is drowning in grief, right in front of you, only separated by the false privacy behind a car window.
Well, as Bon rightly points out:
you do not get out of your car at a light and walk over to a perfect stranger and intrude upon her sorrow, whatever it may be. you do not.
What Bon did was offer a silent prayer. One that ends with the temporarily incongruous: "i moved the bedroom furniture around last week."
Temporary because Bon then tells us her drowning story. Drowning in the grief of losing her newborn child. A story that includes her own moment in a car, but that continues for years beyond that moment, well beyond the obvious signs of drowning in grief. It all boils down to this:
grief eats energy. even long after you think you’re done with it, you go to lift a finger and find that one small act is just too much, a thread that unravels every effort you’ve made, and you collapse back again into whatever puddle you have managed to form yourself into and you begin again from the beginning.
Amongst all this grief...the acute, fresh grief and the chronic, enervating grief... Bon also finds the hope. Hope for her. Hope for the stranger in the car next to her. And hope for any of her readers who are exhibiting their own, unrecognized signs of drowning in grief. This journey has led her to move her bedroom furniture. And it's why we think you should take five minutes to read her post.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts. Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming! If you want to check out all these posts, check out the BlogHer Voice of the Week archive.
For Elisa, Jory, and Lisa, BlogHer Co-founders
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