Friends lost an adult child/grandchild to suicide. This isn’t the first child/grandchild they have lost. I think of this many times during the day and wake up at night thinking about it. But I don’t feel frantic about needing to do something or fix something like I did before. I’m not out buying books and candles to drop off. My experience as a spectator of grieving has taught me to quit thinking I have something magic to ease the pain. All I can really do is say hello even if no one is able to answer back.
The storm last night was so loud that even in my deafness I could hear it. Thunder broke right over our house and the lightening radiated in all the windows like we were in a boat at sea. Our dog paced for a while and then leaped on the bed, something he has only done once before when he stood above me, his wolfish face just inches from mine. Last night he stared out the window, settled, then got up again until finally we all slept together, curled and twisted, like a litter of puppies until the sun came up.
I am loathe to disqualify someone from anything because of age. But Joe Biden’s statement last night during the debate suggesting that parents should make sure to have the radio or record player on at night as a way to advantage their children gave me pause. Maybe if you’re old, like Biden, Sanders, or Warren, you need to make an extra effort to be current. It might be homey to harken back to Roosevelt days when families roasted popcorn in the fireplace and retrieved apples from the fruit cellar, but it basically shows a disinterest in the actual lives of younger people, which in Biden’s case, is most people in the country.
We are going to the symphony tonight. We have season tickets and it is the first night of the new season. I know nothing about classical music. I don’t play an instrument and I can’t sing. I often don’t want to go, thinking that it would be much nicer to lay on the couch, drink rum, and watch Anderson Cooper. So around noon on symphony day, I start looking for reasons to skip out and, when there are none, I go and I sit transfixed by the concertmaster the entire time. His name is Frank Almond. He is an extraordinary violinist and quite good looking but his claim to fame is that he carried his 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius in a briefcase which someone stole from him one night in the parking ramp. It’s true. They made a movie about it. Anyway, at the end of the night, I will be glad I went – because of Frank but also the music.
If I give off tired, flat vibes, it’s because I am tired and flat. It would worry me except I know it will pass. It’s the one benefit of aging, knowing from experience that nothing lasts forever, except maybe my friends’ grief. That isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.