Monday, May 10, 2010


Everyone I know, just about, is having a terribly hard time right now, for one reason or another. In every direction that I look I see sadness, ranging from mild discontent to complete life meltdowns. I don't even watch any news, because I know it will be sad news. Sadness, sadness, everywhere.

I'm tempted to wallow in it, to dwell on the sad details of every sad story. Part of me feels that I ought to wallow, that it is part of my duty as a friend and family member to feel my loved ones' pain, and that the more I love them, the more keenly I should be feeling their pain and the more fully I should be sharing their sorrow. I heard a good sermon recently about grief, which said that sometimes we just have to drink the cup of grief down to the last drop of tears in it. So maybe I should keep on drinking.

But then I remembered a story I heard once about comedian Bob Hope, who was entertaining wounded soldiers in a military hospital overseas; the gorgeous actress who was performing with him became overcome with the pain that she was witnessing, and started to cry in sympathy with the hideous injuries of the patients there. Bob Hope rebuked her: "We aren't here to cry with them, we're here to make them laugh," he told her. So part of me feels that the best gift I can give my suffering loved ones is to try to be one little island of hope and happiness in their sea of sadness, the one person who right now isn't falling apart, or at least isn't falling apart THIS AFTERNOON.

So maybe I should try to go out and do at least one cheerful and constructive thing to make somebody else's life less sad. But first I'll wallow a little bit longer.


  1. Wallow away, Claudia.I've been doing my share.I agree that it seems as if everyone is having a hard time. Each day I look for one good thing and every day there is more than one--little life savers in the tempest. xo

  2. Yes, this economy is terribly difficult. A few nights ago as I was suffering from extreme insomnia, I imagined that my husband was crying out to me as I fell off a cliff (truly things do seem that bad right now). But then I remembered how melodramatic I was at the age of 13 (I regularly daydreamed about fainting at my locker and being tended to by the handsome boy whose locker was next to mine). It occurred to me that crummy and crumbly as our financial footing is right now that I am still the melodramatic girl I used to be. And then I fell asleep.