Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From Whence, Emotions? ...

The next stop on the journey is this.

At press parties out west, back in the day, L.A. Dave had occasions to interview Hugh Laurie. Dave knew I was a fan and would call me after the FOX events to report, "Hugh Laurie says 'Hi.' " That was one of the memories of Dave that I wrote about, here, the day I learned of his death. His family asked if they could use that post as a eulogy, and so, on the day of Dave's memorial service, a church full of family and friends and parish-goers learned of our little exchange.

Hugh Laurie, when it comes to Dave, therefore, is more than a bit of a trigger.

And last night, after watching a particularly intense episode of "House," I found myself crying, a few tears that gave way to body-wracking sobs as I apologized to my friend.

I've felt guilty since his death for not taking more seriously one of the symptoms he had been describing. But it was so benign, I never thought it signaled anything grave. Back pain? Who doesn't suffer back pain every now and then?

Dave, that's who. He had never complained of it in all the years I had known him. Until he did.

Would he have gone to the doctor if I had urged him to? Not likely.

Is the guilt founded? Maybe not.

But I've felt it. It's been very real.

And last night, sitting in the dark, spent, I wondered where I'd been storing all that emotion. Where do grief and guilt reside? In our heads? In our hearts? In every cell? Where had it been lurking for two and a half years? And now, expressed, where has it gone?

Did it vanish into thin air? Is it still here? Is all the emotion ever expressed stored as energy elsewhere, the way carbon emissions are trapped by the atmosphere? Does it continue to swirl around us? If not, where does it go?

Whatever the answers, I'm very grateful to have felt it, to have released it, though those moments of intense emotion seem not to be a function of the conscious mind but rather seem to have a mind of their own. As though they reach some critical mass that spills over from someplace that's hidden into someplace where there's nowhere to hide.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth, this post hit home for me and it is so true. Where does this emotion come from sometimes out of the blue? It's been a year and a half since my mom died. Of course I cried most of Mother's Day weekend. But then there are the moments like you that I'm just sitting, not even really thinking about her and get overwhelmed by the missing her. It is fascinating to think about abstractly. I do feel that when you experience loss it's always there. Somewhere. Thanks for sharing you feel the same. ~Gretchen

10:26 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks for your comment, friend.

Extra hugs to you.

10:36 AM  

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