loving in the war years: day eighteen

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016


it is something we are so rarely allowed to feel or to see or to even imagine
lasts more than 2 or 3 days.

i’ve studied war for over a decade now, and what shocks me, still, after all this time,
are the people. 50, 60, 70 years after vietnam, korea, ww2…they still cry when talking about loved ones lost. they still get choked up and can’t go on. they still hurt,
after all these years,
from the empty place that used to hold their loved one.

so different from the movies. so different from the television shows. that assure us. after one episode. after one glorious show down in court. after one big battle or one big yell or one big slow motion attack of the murderer…
it is better.

i was once yelled at by a person for mentioning being against a past war. i’ve been yelled at before over my anti-war stance, so i wasn’t surprised or even taken off guard. not until the tears started and the soft ‘you don’t know what it was like back then, you don’t have any idea what it was like, half of my friends never came home’ fell out of quivering lips over and over again. i didn’t have the heart to tell this person, this grieving person, still grieving after all those years, that their grief was why i was against war.

i just patted their back. and looked the other way. so they could pretend i didn’t see their tears.

what does grief look like?
what does it smell like?
taste like?
sound like?

is it different for everybody?
or is grief the one universal that draws us all together?

is the complete invisibilization of grief the only way the current world can continue to exist?