Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Appropriate sadness

Not that long ago, I was at a party, chatting with a group of folks, and the subject of our mothers came up.  I mentioned that mine had died some years back and that periodically I was still sad at the loss.  A therapist in the group offered to prescribe something that would help me stop feeling sad.

I hadn't said I was depressed, much less clinically depressed.  I'd said I was sad.

Since when did being sad become a bad thing?

Some sadness is, to me, entirely appropriate.  Feeling sad at the loss of my mother is, to me, part and parcel of honoring her and her memory.

I don't want to give up my sadness.  I don't want drugs to stop me from experiencing the full range of my feelings.

Please don't take any of this to mean that I'm saying that depression isn't real, or that drugs aren't important aids to many depressed folks.  I'm talking sadness, not depression.

I wandered yesterday across a picture of my mother, sitting in a chair in the living room of the house she and Lloyd shared, her head covered by a stubble of hair growing back after her most recent cycle of chemo.  I felt so much in the instant I saw that photo:  fondness, love, joy at her survival, loss at her death, sadness.

I want all of those feelings.  I want my heart to feel it's going to burst trying to contain all that I'm feeling.  I never want to give them up, even if sometimes some of them hurt me to the core of my soul.

So, I'm going to keep on feeling sad sometimes, and feeling happy, and feeling lost, confused, in love, in fear, all of it.  I want all of it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. My husband just lost his Mother and is feeling very sad. People we love we'll always miss.

Rosanne said...

Wonderful post!

David Drake said...

Dear Mark,

I spent twenty-odd years after I got back to the world, feeling pretty much nothing (except anger; I never lost that). It's not a good way to be. Even depression (another 15-20 years) is better than that.

As you know, I'm not a big advocate of either doctors or better living through chemistry; but my bias aside, I've got a lot of first=hand experience on that subject.

All best,

Anonymous said...

David. I know about depression as well. It can be so rough. Sending kind thoughts. Sending kind thoughts to you also, Mark. I'm glad you have good memories about your mother and not just sad ones. Take care.


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