1. 1.
    the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
    synonyms: emotional release, relief, release, venting;

    purging, purgation, purification, cleansing;

    I write because it is cathartic.  Talking about the stuff I’m going through is difficult in the extreme. It feels self-centered, and people have their own stuff they’re dealing with and don’t need to hear about mine. Writing it down is softer and allows people to read about it on their own terms, when they want to and only as much as they want to without being rude.

    It also allows me to put the thoughts in order, to consider their worth, line them up and look at them and weed out the extraneous fluff…when I want to. sometimes I’m all about the extraneous fluff to the absolute exclusion of anything deep…(whatever the word is that means something you have to think hard or have any sort of emotional reaction to) (also I realize I keep ending sentences with prepositions and while I may go back and edit this for grammar, it’s possible I won’t.)

    The process of catharsis lifts the burden of grief and worry out of my head and allows the paper/computer/wherever to carry it for me. I am able to revisit the words later and consider their worth…was this situation fret-worthy, or was I blowing it out of proportion due to lack of sleep (or whatever)?  Most of the time I am blowing things out of proportion.

    However, having one’s spouse of 28-1/2 years is, I believe, decidedly fret-worthy. Being able to write about it over the past 18+ months (wow…that long…it feels like 6 weeks ago) has allowed me to handle all the logistics without my mind being bogged down with the heavy, heavy weight of grief. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days when I lay aside the logistics and pick up the grief. My mind has a mind of it’s own and frequently switches from Handle It mode to Grief mode, usually without any sort of forewarning. But, because coping mechanisms have developed solidly, it’s not something that knocks me down and screws up the whole day/week/month. I’ll look at the grief, say “ok fine…” and start writing. Sometimes here, sometimes elsewhere, but always writing it down until the swirl of incoherent sounds gel into words, that can be ordered into sentences, phrases, and eventually something along the lines of a post or an essay.

    I can’t emphasize enough just how incredible the relief feels when it all gets put into something I can read. It’s as if the medium of writing is a living thing, that takes ahold of the burden and carries it for me. And I’m not even causing someone an inconvenience! This Carrier is is not just willing, but is *meant* to hold the burden. Can you imagine that? I suppose I could consider it an inanimate thing-a table or a shelf-that holds my stuff, but it’s more than that. There is a feeling of willingness, or even of desire, to carry it. What a relief that is.

    Fall was Himself’s favorite time of year. It was a welcome change from the heat of the Summer, and we enjoyed taking advantage of it- open windows, trips to the mountains to see the colors, setting aside the endless cold salads and fixing chili and beef stew and chicken with dumplings. I love Fall as well, so I’m missing him extra hard right now. Last Fall I was still trying to get my feet off the slippery grease of confusion and didn’t have time to think about anything but personal balance. This Fall, everything is essentially in order and my life is clicking along down a straight (for the time being, I don’t take it for granted anymore) track, and I am feeling the loss of Himself in a different and more poignant sort of way.


    On the dining table is a blue vase of fragrant pink roses I cut yesterday. They are ones Himself gave me to plant on the gate entrance to the vegetable garden. Excellent roses they are, tall and strong and beautiful. I cut them simply to share with a family that came to supper, but this morning they are so much more than that and my heart hurts looking at them, for missing Himself so much. I kind of resent days like this where my emotions are bubbling to the surface and I’m pretty sure the simplest thing will cause a memory to leak out of my eyes and roll down my cheek.  I have school in an hour, and that will be an hour of setting delicate feelings aside and being the bossiest person in the group. (Someone has to do it. Everyone else just sits there with their teeth in their mouths and waits for the instructor to get frustrated.)

    Today is a cool Fall day, the sort Himself loved the best. Today I miss him fiercely, and he would love that as well. I don’t mean he’d love that I’m unhappy, but that I’m thinking of him. Today I’m writing all that down, and spending time with friends who don’t hold delicate feelings against me, and being grateful for the time I had with him. I’m grateful for having a means of catharsis, that results in not having to carry the weight of grief inside, and being able to set it down once in a while so I can breathe.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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One Response to Catharsis

  1. jerseechik says:


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