Reading #3

To Grieve is To Carry Another Time” by Matt Salesses

Psychology defines normal grief as detachment from the missing object and successful reinvestment in another. Good grief is the end of a love story and the beginning of a new marriage. But time is not actually linear–it is a gravitational force without future or past, only simultaneity.

Time is not what we make of it. Time is what life makes of us. The moments in which we find our moorings, and orient ourselves in the ongoingness of life.

Matt Salesses writes into the space of losing his wife to cancer. He describes marriage as “two people living in a single time” creating a story of entanglement, a myth of origins, rituals that breath meaning into the seasons and repetitions, dreams that sustain our random motion through the cosmos. And “the past becomes the time in which you didn’t know each other.”

“When your beloved dies, your memory is at risk. Your past no longer fits your story of who you are. In order to change your story, you must change either time or memory.”

Matt Salesses

The loss of a loved one threatens memory, which is the story of how you came together. To some extent, this can happen in a divorce as well, where the past is rewritten to reflect the present disenchantment or hurt. Moorings matter. Memory is the rope that moors us, the vehicle for associations, connotations, sentiment, longing, and nostalgia. A person feels more or less placed–more or less at home in a particular place–depending on their connections to it. How does Salesses “moor” the grieving self?