Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recent reading

A couple of interesting recent articles that I thought were worth sharing:

*  "No, you don't have to "move on." It's okay to grieve forever." (Washington Post)  Love, love, love this essay, written by a PhD student who lost her little brother when she was 5. Sample passage:
Like many therapists, I get a lot of people who come through the door thinking there’s something wrong with them because they’re feeling the loss of someone who has died, left or disappeared long ago. Often they ask me why they still sometimes cry.  
Sometimes I ask them to tell me why they think they shouldn’t still be sad. And most of the time we come to the conclusion they’re in my office so I can somehow put a cork in it for them so they can stop upsetting their families and the rest of the world.
Isn't that so often the case?

*  "The Science of Suffering" (New Republic)  Fascinating study of post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects entire generations of families and cultures (Cambodians, Jewish Holocaust survivors, Native Americans...) -- and may, in fact, become hardwired into our DNA.  Coping mechanisms and treatment are also discussed, including whether it's better to remember or forget/supress memory.

*  "Tim Cook brought uncles and aunts into the limelight" (SFGate via Gateway Women) Not only did the Microsoft CEO recently come out of the closet as a gay man, in the same article, he also proudly and prominently identified himself as an uncle -- a role too often neglected when it comes to discussions about families.

"By putting “uncle” up high, he outed a huge group of us who are unduly proud of our roles as uncle or aunt, an accomplishment rarely noted by famous people," writer Tori Ritchie notes.
...aunt- and uncle-hood classically has been portrayed as a byproduct of suspicious childlessness, as in eccentric Auntie Mame or foppish Uncle Arthur on “Bewitched.” In the conversation about family values, aunts and uncles are rarely mentioned. There are no Happy Aunt’s or Uncle’s Day cards in the Hallmark aisle. It’s not one of those things you put on your Twitter tagline or brag about at office parties. It’s something you go about quietly, without public fanfare. 
Yet we live in an era when there are probably more devoted aunts and uncles than ever...  Until last week, we had no public voice, but now we have someone powerful and famous who has outed us and proudly claimed membership in our club: Uncle Tim Cook. 
Read the whole thing -- I thought it was sweet, & pays well deserved tribute to the unsung yet vital relationships so many childless/free aunts & uncles enjoy with their nieces & nephews.

1 comment:

  1. More food for thought - and more reading too. Thank you so much.

    I loved the article about Tim Cook being an uncle. I spent last weekend (and a bit longer) with my littlest niece, and we had a lovely time together. Her mother (my younger sister) understands that I treasure our time together. She (and I) are looking forward to little Charlie being old enough to come stay with her auntie Mali and her uncle D, and will be the sole focus of our attention. I look around, and she won't have that relationship with any of her other aunts or uncles. How many children do?