What does poop have to do with grief?




Yes, my brain works in insane ways.  I was cleaning out the litter boxes yesterday and two words popped into my mind:  poop and grief.    Neither hubby or James take care of the litter boxes. They don't have the stomach for it, so it's always been my responsibility.   When Herbie died last August, I did a major cleaning as if getting rid of his scent would make things all better.  You really don't think grief will hit you hard, when an dies, but it does. One of our fur babies, raised from birth, a member of our family. I still see him out of the corner of my eye, sitting outside the patio door. Plus mom's been gone almost four years now.  And there's the loss of a couple cyber relationships in my life that were very important. Grief comes in waves - some big that knock you over, some little ones that misplace the sand beneath your feet, and make you take a step backwards.  So what does this have with poop and the litter box? 

Cat's poop and try to act nonchalant with half their body outside the litter box, the other half inside, doing their business.  They hid it, cover it up,  Don't look at me, they say, eyes straight ahead, ignoring the human who happens to walk by. Later you clean it out, sift, scoop, toss in a bag and/or flush, depending on your way of doing things.  We bag and throw it away.  So - Grief. 

Sometimes, you try to avoid it, but when you gotta...you gotta.  You try to hide it,  your public face versus the private face.  When it's no longer possible to hide, you sift through and either throw it away or heaven forbid, put it back on the mental shelf for another day.  I stumbled across What's Your Grief today and their article on Understanding Avoidance in Grief.   One of the factors they listed is avoidance or denial of feelings or emotions.  One thing that makes fiction writing or even non fiction writing so interesting as well as cathartic is writing with feeling, with emotion.  But what happens when you deny those feelings.  Yep, writer's block or rather writer's avoidance.  Or like Sage Cohen says - it may be procrastination, may be incubation. 

I worked through a few things during a Flash non fiction class, surprised myself with the honesty, the emotion and discovered a few things in the process.  Something I need to continue to work on - let those emotions through, work them out, resolve and let go.  Yet, I've avoid it with my fiction. 

 I have a character and his backstory involves the loss of his wife.  I've wanted to write his story for quite a while but had been avoiding it. Too emotionally intense.  And how do you explain to your hubby or son why you're crying over an imaginary person.  Yep, writers. We get emotionally involved...when we let ourselves.  

So what's the moral of this story - the relationship between poop and grief?   Sift through the litter, scoop it out and throw the poop away.  Whether you throw it away on the page or just out of your mind, let it flow, let it go.  

  

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