Tuesday morning and it looks like we managed to survive Monday somehow. It was ninety-seven degrees yesterday when I left the office–but the humidity hasn’t started getting super bad yet. After getting the mail and making groceries, I was exhausted by the time i finished unloading the car and putting everything away. And it’s only May. It’s funny how we forget the brutality of summer when it’s not summer her, every single year. It’s always a shock how hot it gets here when the summer heat returns in late spring…and how much it saps the energy right out of you. I did manage to get some work done last night after putting everything away, and then I repaired to the easy chair after a ZOOM meeting to be a kitty bed.
We started watching Shrinking last night on Apple TV, and it is really one of the funniest shows I’ve seen. I believe it’s written by Brett Goldstein, aka Roy Kent on Ted Lasso, and stars Jason Segal and Harrison Ford. Once it hits its stride–the pilot episode was a bit uneven–it becomes absolutely hilarious. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this (maybe they are, I am notoriously oblivious, after all) but it’s terrific. Funny–and the humor comes from the characters and who they are, rather than situations, which makes it richer and more human, I think. Jason Segal plays a therapist whose wife passed away about a year before the show opens, and he’s questioning everything about his life, including how he practices therapy with his patients, and decides to be more active, proactive even, in his treatment of them. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it is always quite clever and funny and enjoyable. He also has an estranged relationship with his daughter–his grief was selfish, and he wasn’t there for her when she lost her mom–and their neighbor, Liz, has kind of taken over taking care of Alice the daughter, so he’s trying to rebuild that relationship as well, while navigating his gratitude to Liz for stepping up–complicated by the fact she won’t let go or step back. Like Ted Lasso, it’s about relationships and learning how to navigate grief–in Ted Lasso, it’s the grief of the failed marriage, in Shrinking, it’s grief over a dead spouse…but the primary takeaway from the show so far is something I’ve noticed, and a friend who lost her spouse about six months ago and I have been talking about, is the lack of conversation and discussion about grief, how to grieve, how long one should grieve, the guilt you feel whenever you have a good moment or something nice happens to you (“I shouldn’t be having a good time!”), and so on.
We have a billion dollar industry built around grief–the mortuary business–and yet that’s all about the public display of grief, rather than the intimate experience of it. Ah, capitalism. I’m actually surprised no one has figured out a way to monetize grief, really. Or maybe that’s what the mortuary business is? If so, at least in my case, it’s gone horribly wrong. The service in Alabama at the funeral home was absolutely lovely, don’t get me wrong–but it didn’t provide me with any closure or answers or much of anything other than the ability to share sadness with the rest of the family (and I do pity the relatives who didn’t come or even call or anything; that is something Dad will never forgive. I am a little more understanding, but totally get where he’s coming from and can appreciate and understand it. He worshipped her and he saw that as a slap in her face, right or wrong.), so I don’t know.
I don’t know much about anything, really. Almost every day is a reminder of how little I know and how little I understand. But life really is a learning process; I hope to never stop learning and evolving and growing until the day my heart finally gives out as well.
And on that note, I am heading back into the spice mines. Have a lovely Tuesday, and I will check back in with you again tomorrow.
One thought on “Music”
My new play, which had a table read last week, is about grief, and how we’re supposed to work on this ridiculous timeline to “get over it” instead of healing and learning to live with it. While the Victorians took it a bit too far, with all their mourning clothes and customs, at least they acknowledged grief beyond the funeral.