Happy Birthday Dad!

mourning symbolIt’s amazing how grief works. I’m horribly absentminded and more often than not can’t remember my train of thought. But, every year as my father’s birthday and the date of his death approaches, I always know where I left of grieving last year. It’s taken a long time, over twenty years, for the happy memories and the pain of his loss became equal. I miss him every single day. And I wish he were constantly.

It’s amazing how grief works. I’m horribly absentminded and more often than not can’t remember my train of thought. But, every year as my father’s birthday and the date of his death approaches, I always know where I left of grieving last year. It’s taken a long time, over twenty years, for the happy memories and the pain of his loss became equal. I miss him every single day. And I wish he were constantly.

Today, I give Funeral Blues written by Wystan Hugh Auden. Loss has never been more poignantly captured.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Happy Birthday Dad—love you always!mourning symbol

R.I.P. Robin Williams. You will be sorely missed!

220px-Mrs_DoubtfireThe world is poorer by far with the loss of Robin Williams yesterday. A comic genius, a devoted family man, he had the unique ability to immerse you completely into whatever world he occupied in a movie or a television show.

Robin Williams made me laugh until I cried. Deep bust gusting laughter is the ultimate tension reliever and there is no greater talent than being able to provoke that in a human being. Robin Williams had the supreme talent to do that, over and over again. From Mork and Mindy (I still agree with the concept of being born old and growing younger until you return to the womb- brilliant) to Jumanji to Mrs. Doubtfire to The Birdcage—these are movies I watch again and again  and still bust a gut laughing.

Then there is Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, and Good Morning Vietnam, all films which showcase Robin William’s dramatic talent. Movies that make you think long after you’ve seen them.

Obviously, I didn’t know the man, but I admired him for his honesty and tenacity while conquering some of his demons—he had been sober since 2006. I also venerated the way he adored and loved his family. By all accounts, he was an admirable human being.

Yes, there is no doubt, the world is poorer. I am stunned, desolate, and blue, and I lament his loss. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Grieving Robin Williams and watching Mrs. Doubtfire,

Jianne