Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why I don't wear black but maybe I should

Mourning is a very private affair for me. Much like showing affection in public that goes beyond holding hands or an occasional peck on the mouth. For this reason I chose not to wear black after the death of my stepdad. The other reason was my utmost loathing of all such customs. I find them tedious, outdated and irrelevant. Wearing black so that the neighbours won't have anything to gossip about is the high point of absurdity and conformism.

Bled July 2012

Since the funeral of my stepdad I have done my very best to dress in my usual (bright, quirky) clothing and trying to keep up the appearance of "bussines as usual". I was petrified of people coming up to me with condolences and accompanying chit chat, quizzical looks and expressions of sympathy.
On the other hand some mistook my behaviour for complete apathy and carelessness.
It was about a week ago that I came to realize his death had upset me far beyond what I'd imagined. A casual conversation with a co-worker sent me into a whirlwind of hysterical crying and all she did was mention what an ingenious gift her son had received for his birthday: a garden gnome.
Since then I've been doing a lot of thinking about the process of mourning, the passing of time and most of all acceptance.
The mere idea of acceptance has me going round in circles. For me acceptance is and has always been the end result of total understanding combined with wholhearted agreement. After my umpteenth attempt to reconcile with my own personal demons I've realized that acceptance is coming to terms with things I disapprove, disagree with but am unable to change.
Afterward I felt like listening to this (it's classic):


  1. Mourning is very personal. Everyone should be allowed to experience it in their own unique and individual way,..although sometimes those around us don't let that happen. I think it's because they/we don't understand what you're/we are going through since each person reacts differently to loss and to life itself. Acceptance is a bit like that, too. Just remember to breathe,...deeply!! ;-)

    1. I keep forgeting to do that: just breathe and allow myself to be moody, cranky or whaterever other way that strays from what is expected of me

  2. I admire you for having the courage to buck the trend and do what you feel is correct for you during your mourning process. It is no one's business how you choose to dress following the death of your stepdad. Great choice of music!

    1. Sometimes it gets complicated but for the most part everyone has been so incredibly supportive givnig me space when I need it or spend hours at a time just talking with me.
      Music helps too :-) and I love, love old classics like The Beatles for some reason it's very soothing.

  3. How old were you when your step-father came to your life? I have just been wondering..
    People over here don´t dress in black after the funeral anymore. If it is a custom in your country, then I might understand the reaction of the people who approach you.
    The death of your step-father has touched you deeply. The death was so sudden.
    You have needed time to adjust ( if one ever can ) to what has happened. You are lucky to have your friends, Mr. C and your mother near you.
    And you have us, your friends through the blog,
    Sending my hugs to you ((((((((Ana)))))))))))mette

    1. Mette, I was 8 when my mum married my stepdad. Dressing in black is pretty rare here too except for more rural parts of the country where such customs persist, which is natural. Despite wearing black being in decline it is however still appropriate to wear more toned down colours and skip vibrant patterns when in mourning.
      Thanks for the hugs and encouragement, it helps beyond words!

  4. Dear Ana, I think of you often and have been wondering how you are doing. Thank you for posting. I am sending warm hugs too. There usually are no words that help. The way you are coming to understand acceptance is the way I understand it myself.

    1. Susan, words rarely help, but the thoughts behind them and the geniune care that emanates from them does :-)
      And to answer your question: I'm fine, very well on most days really. Crazy busy, sometimes too busy but overall I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope you and Martin are enjoying your summer!

  5. I think it is a healthy sign that you are able to share grief which you are doing here.
    If you wish to cry do so as there will often be 'triggers' which cause these feelings.
    Having the support of family,friends is most important at this time.

    Mette expressed it so well we are here for you whenever you want to post. Ida xxx