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The World Without You
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Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

Created: 12/28/12

Replies: 12

Posted Dec. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

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Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

The book says that David "mourns for Leo no less than Marilyn does even if he isn’t bellowing it into bullhorns ... In a way he thinks his response is more dignified." Is David’s response more dignified? Are there better and worse ways to mourn?


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dlpiano

Join Date: 08/14/11

Posts: 14

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

There are personal ways to mourn and these affect people differently, for better or worse. In the beginning of the book it seemed only as if Marilyn was mourning for her son and David was mourning for his lost marriage. As the story unfolds we indeed see David mourning the loss of his son in his own personal way through mindless exercise and other repeated activities.


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 40

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

Not better or worse, just different. Henkin does a good job of presenting different ways to mourn; Marilyn, writing her op-eds against the war, is perhaps publicly mourning. David, the retired teacher, takes up new interests such as opera and cooking. Both are covering their grief with activity appropriate to their styles, and in my opinion, one is no less dignified than the other.


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dlpiano

Join Date: 08/14/11

Posts: 14

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

There are personal ways to mourn and these affect people differently, for better or worse. In the beginning of the book it seemed only as if Marilyn was mourning for her son and David was mourning for his lost marriage. As the story unfolds we indeed see David mourning the loss of his son in his own personal way through mindless exercise and other repeated activities.


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 21

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

I think we mourn in the way that satisfies our needs - for some people that may be doing it publicly so that everyone knows how grieved you are. For others the mourning may be very private. Some people may be able to move on quickly - others may have great difficulty moving on and may be very resentful of those who have been able to do so.


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 45

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

There are many stages of grief and everyone goes through them in their own time and in their own order. Not everyone goes through the stages the same. I think Leo's Mom was definitely in the anger stage when she wrote the editorials. I think David was in the denial stage. There is the sad stage, bargaining stage, etc. The final stage is acceptance. Some people never get there. But we do all go through the stages in our own order. I think all of these people were in different stages. That is part of what made the book so good.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

I think that mourning is personal and that everyone goes through it differently. I don't think that there are better and worse ways -- just dffferent ways


Posted Jan. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

I personally mourn in the "pull the band aid off quickly" way, which may seem cold and unfeeling to others. When my brother died I was given some of his things - a leather jacket, etc. - but rather than having those personal effects lingering around the house I donated them to people in need. I really believe he'd have wanted it that way, for others to be warmed by his jacket and not for it to sit in my closet gathering dust because I'd rather not see it, as a constant reminder. In the case of another dear friend, though, we shared so much about our love of books I kept the couple of books he gave me and they're treasured possessions. But the day after he died I quickly removed his email from my address book (in my inbox) so his name wouldn't pop up when I hit the first letter. So, even within one person there are several ways to grieve, depending on the situation.


Posted Jan. 18, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 56

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RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

I was going to answer that mourning is very personal and shouldn't be judged but I'm having second thoughts. While we all have to cope with loss I have seen someone do it to the extreme where she is throwing her life away. She is a talented, vibrant person with much ahead of her but she refuses to go on in spite of the efforts of those who love her. This isn't what her late husband would want. This is an extreme example. For most people, we grieve in our own way and get on with our lives


Posted Jan. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Prufrock

Join Date: 11/14/12

Posts: 2

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

Each person mourns in their own way and on their own schedule. Sadly, as seen in the decay of Marilyn and David's relationship, we often judge others' mourning style against our own. Marilyn couldn't accept David's quiet and internalized mourning, perhaps feeling that it indicated "less love" than her own very public style of grieving for her dead son.


Posted Jan. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 96

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RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

People mourn in different ways and what is right for one may not be right for another. People also mourn for various lengths of time. Some get through the stages of grief quickly while others may take years. The main thing is that the person does not get stuck at one stage. That's when it may be a problem and the person may need professional help in order to move to the next stage.


Posted Feb. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Nell

Join Date: 12/03/12

Posts: 2

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

Not so much better or worse. Some ways of mourning can be destructive - anger and grief expressed in negative ways. I was part of a bereavement group shortly after my father's death. Some members had lost parents after illnesses, others had loss children, others husbands. Not all of the losses were recent. Not only were there differences because of who we lost but whether it was a sudden death. Some people in the group had lost a loved one years ago and never talked about it before. It was a relief for me to be with others who understood without words or explanations. After a few months, our group disbanded of its own accord. We mourn in different ways and it changes over time. Other members of my family dealt with our loss by the kind of busyness that David exhibits. It's been a couple of years but things shift - one sibling is now ready to talk about it in a group or one-on-one setting. There's really no time limit. Someone who lost her father last year asked me if it gets better with time. I told her you adjust to the loss.


Posted Feb. 26, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: Are there better and worse ways to mourn?

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we all do it in our own ways. The characters in this story exemplify this. We don't have to like how they do it but boy they sure do it on their own ways


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