Summer Academy, Day 3

Cats and kittens, I am WIPED. I only had Grief and Loss on Wednesday (no Autobiography), and somehow that one class was more exhausting than both.
  • We're reading Viorst's Necessary Losses, which is about the losses that occur at each developmental stage, from birth to death. When I started reading it last week (before the class met), I was overwhelmed. HOLY CRAP. I did NOT get to experience those losses well, at the time. It's given words to grief I've been trying to process over the last year. A friend said to me this morning, "it's a miracle you can make attachments!" She's right. Understanding better helps me to be more patient with myself, also illuminates the path ahead. One step at a time, anyway.
  • We talked about "disenfranchised grief," some of which comes from avoidable losses. Even when something is our choice, there's often a loss that needs to be grieved, and lots of time people do not respect this. Quitting a job, initiating a divorce, retirement, ending a relationship are all examples of this.
  • We were reminded that, because everyone grieves in their own way, we will make mistakes when we are with grievers. We can learn from them.
  • I'm exhausted, and I'm feeling tender, but I'm also feeling held. I talked to one of the women I love most in the world this morning, and was just enormously grateful to be loved back.


  1. Marianne1:46 PM

    Wow. Disenfranchised grief. Yeah, I definitely hear you there. When I decided to downgrade my PhD to an MPhil, and still found it impossible to concentrate on getting this much easier version of it done, I did feel like a lot of well-meaning people around me were screaming, 'But YOU DECIDED to give up the PhD, and it is the right choice. But now you're refusing to do WHAT IS RIGHT.' Oh thanks. So I'm not allowed to grieve for the PhD I will never achieve, huh? I don't have a right to feel bad about it, even though it would be a mistake to carry on with it? What people do not realise is that in order to build the emotional strength necessary to fully take responsibility for our choices and actions, we need to properly grieve and work through losses, even when we have initiated those losses, or caused them to come into being. Guilt is not an incentivizer.

    Damn, Mrs. M. You may be taking the classes, but I'm learning just as much from your bullet point blog posts. Thanks for giving these updates. I look forward to them everyday. :-)

  2. interesting, Margaret is way early into the grief of losing her job, as she wonders how she got anything done while working

  3. OK, I did a first try at a liturgy. It's on the Desert Year blog.

  4. "Guilt is not an incentivizer." Marianne, that's one of the smartest things I've heard. Period. So, what are you going to do to honor the loss of the PhD, of the Doctor Marianne that you thought you'd be? Is there a way I can be part of that for you?

    Stratoz, people certainly handle their grief in very different ways, don't they?

    And Robin, I think you did a beautiful job. I wonder how the process of creating it was for you.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins