Months To Years Summer 2018 MTY_Summer2018_v7 - Page 29

no end in nature, but every end is a beginning” (Emerson of a loved one and the life of the survivor. In this sense, the “Circles”). However, I am not wholly willing to relinquish grieving survivor, much like a literary artist, accepts his or the idea that the rainbow was a message from my father. her survival and use of language as consolation for loss. I prefer to hold onto both explanations and the consoling As emotional ties are redirected from the lost loved one to Emersonian notion that familial love is eternal. a story or an object that recollects what is mourned, the creative act of giving words to sorrow allows the mourner We often postpone confrontations with mortality until the possibility of recovery by means of representation. we lose a loved one. And, when we experience loss, we   are overwhelmed with emotions ranging from sorrow to   anxiety. We may even embrace magical thinking to cope with our grief. However, if mourning is successful, the act Works Cited of giving voice to sorrow helps us reinvest in life. As we   process our grief, we often use language to bear witness to loss and memorialize the dead. One thing that people who have experienced a loss have in common is shared testimony and pieces of distorted histories constructed from their memories and experiences. In this sense, we Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Threnody.” An American Anthology, 1787–1900. Edited by Edmund Clarence Stedman, Houghton Mifflin, 1900; Bartleby.com, 2001,     www.bartleby.com/248/. Web. 15 Jan. 2018.   transform our wounds into stories. Thus, narratives about “Circles.” Essays, First Series. 1847. E-book ed.  loss and grief offer the possibility for empathy to those Project Gutenberg, 2013,          who actively engage with them and healing for those who http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2944/2944-h/2944-h. speak of sorrow because the possibility for a reinvestment htm. Web. 20 March 2018. in life springs from the very disjuncture between the death Trisha Brady is an assistant professor of English at City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York, NY where she teaches courses in American and world literatures as well as composition. She reads on mass transit, drinks chocolate with a shot of espresso, and can be found hiking around Pennsylvania’s many waterfalls when the weather permits. 29