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EP's picture

Something that is on my mind since our discussion in class (as well as with the Butler reading) is the nature of mourning. Mourning is not an act that is set to accomplish anything, but rather a kind of reflection and attempt at closure for the sake of oneself. In a way, mourning is more centered on those who mourn rather than the person or object that is being mourned. We mourn, not because of the death or departure of who/what we mourn, but because we have lost something that can no longer provide for us. People never truly mourn for the sake other people or objects. People mourn for the sake of themselves.


MargaretRachelRose's picture

Mourning Relapse

I agree with both EP and juliah. Mourning is an introspective, healing – and socially stigmatizing – process. I feel as though mourning collides with feminism, especially post-modernist feminism, because feminism today lacks forward motion. Mourning, according to Brown, is a “scene of rediscovery.” It is a time where someone breaks down what they are and believe, what impedes their process and what worked in past. It is a standstill motion that is neither in the past or future entirely. I feel like in the present it’s nearly impossible to predict the future but it’s almost if a period of mourning deviates from normative time to allow time for solitary, proactive reflection. As Brown recalls the days in which she was actively involved in the second wave, she recalls political movement for social equality. Everything was moving, pushing, forward, renouncing, reshaping. But on shaky ground. The momentum’s changed, shifted, slowed down. It’s a time for mourning. This time here and now is for reevaluating the truths of the past and a time for carrying them into the present, while simultaneously trying to rediscover what feminism means, encompasses, and includes. It’s almost as if mourning is a revolutionary kind of healing; and it’s almost as if this revolutionary sentiment can reenergize the beating, passionate pulse in the heart of feminism.  

juliah's picture

Mourning Sickness

I definitely agree with EP's thoughts on mourning--that it is something we do for ourselves, an essential catharsis. However, as with most of the themes we’ve hashed out in class, I feel like we can’t discuss it without recognizing the underlying privilege. Taking the time to mourn implies a certain agency; one must have the ability to step back and process. I am not attacking the good that therapy can provide—I, as well as many people close to me, have benefitted greatly from it. That being said, to process is to possess the facility necessary to have control of your time, responsibilities, and expectations, all of which imply a particular privilege. In addition, though mourning is an imperative ideal for one’s well being, it is never personal. Stigmas encircle mourning, with people trying to dictate the “proper” way to process. If you show your grief in public, you expose yourself to pity, and can be seen as weak or overemotional. On the other had, if you attempt to move on and go about daily life, you are seen as heartless, or perhaps in denial. Clearly mourning can never truly be personal, as any actions taken will be dissected and deduced by one’s observers.