Home > Uncategorized > How the light gets in

How the light gets in

There are many, many reasons I adore Anne Lamott. Here’s one of them, from her post this evening on her Facebook page (errors and all):

Boston broke my heart, in the good way. I went to the great progressive, peacenik anti-racist Arlington Street Church, and the minister-at-large took us up to the very, very top floor, where the ancient bells are. It was my late father’s 90th, and George played Happy Birthday for him on the bells. I bet my dad loved that.


Don’t let anyone tell you ever that you are supposed to stopping mourning and missing people you’ve lost. What a crock. Our beloved people are forever. What a joy for that dumb song to ring out in Dad’s honor into the city air. Leonard Cohen wrote that there are cracks in everything, and that’s how the light gets in. Stay cracked; don’t let people shame you into using caulking.

This touches on one of the topics that came up in therapy this week: How, when I’m struck with intense grief seemingly out of the blue, I don’t allow myself to just grieve. In my family, there’s a statute of limitations on grieving that lasts, oh, maybe five days. I don’t know. I suppose it depends on the situation. I had less than two days to stop being upset about my mom’s suicide attempt. I could still be upset beyond that, but the family support system wasn’t going to acknowledge it. In fact, I recall getting chewed out for not processing the event quickly enough. Imagine if I hadn’t been hiding the majority of my emotions from them! Anyway, my therapist keeps reminding me that I have plenty to grieve, so even if my grief isn’t caused by something that happened in the previous few days, it’s still valid.

I like the idea of putting down the defective caulking and just bearing those cracks.

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