In this culture we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters and an obsession with distraction. Because we cannot acknowledge our grief, we’re forced to stay on the surface of life.
Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life force.
A May 2 article in the New York Times “Suicide Rates Rise Sharply In US” informed us that not only have suicide rates increased in the past decade among teens and the elderly, but more surprisingly, they have surged among the baby boomers. Ten days later, an article on the Alternet website asks, “Is Cutthroat Capitalism Pushing A Growing Number Of Baby Boomers To Suicide?” Certainly, we might expect adolescents and the elderly to take their own lives, but why baby boomers—people in the 35-70 age bracket? What is it about this group?
So in this time of catastrophe,
Perhaps we should turn to these lists.
And teach our children from them.
So that we may live.