Thursday, May 21, 2009

My friend Paul Lisicky has been writing about his mother's last illness and death on his blog, and I'm so struck by what a strangely perfect medium blogs are for writing about grief. I've read blogs by people I don't know, and by people I've come to know, but this is the first time I've kept up with someone I love by reading his blog--we've communicated directly, too--and it's felt so moving and right. He writes as beautifully here as he does in his books, about love and doubt and loss, and I have felt like I can abide with him by reading about his mother, and then read the condoling comments left by strangers and by people I know.

And there it is, for anyone to read. Which is somehow the most comforting thing of all.

4 comments:

susanstinson said...

I've been feeling the gifts of Paul's beautiful posts so strongly. I think you're right, about this form and grief.

Elizabeth McCracken said...

I've loved reading your comments on them, Susan. It's sort of like a Quaker meeting.

& I think it's that strange combination of intimacy and openness that makes blogs right for grief. And readers can know what the grief-stricken are going through day-by-day--which is what I've loved about Paul's posts--and the writers can wrestle with how to tell their story in their own time.

Strangely Perfect said...

Sorry if this sounds a bit facetious, but I couldn't agree more that blogs are a Strangely Perfect medium to express ourselves.
Done right, and you put your heart on the line; done wrong and they look plain puerile.
In this way, the whole panoply of existence is exposed, which I think is wonderful, because that is what life is.
You can see instantly whether a person is shouting just for the sake of it, "look at me", which is fine - it's what entertainers do. And you can also see instantly that someone is trying to connect, mind-to-mind, with the outside world.

A Spanish lady, the world's oldest blogger, has just died. This event brought this idea closely into focus for me, which coupled with your words has brought me here.
Thanks.

susanstinson said...

I've never been to a Quaker meeting, it does feel like my imagined ones -- that people reading respond if they feel moved or called too, and there's something I keep wanting to call seemliness about the ways time moves in these blogs. Immediacy, right, those windows into the day to day, oh, I can't think of more true way to put it than what you said about that feeling of being able to abide with someone you care about, with Paul. And yes, too, that the writer posts when there's time and desire or need to communicate, something to say that also can be said.