It’s Mourning In America

10 Nov

This week I voted without my dad.

And for the first time probably ever, I was glad he was dead. That he wasn’t here to see this.

I couldn’t have known how much of Dad would be in this election for me.

I mourned today.

He taught me how to do that.

I was struck all day today by the similarity between how I felt today and how I felt on that day.

A lot of people are comparing the tone in the city today with that of 9/11/01.

Mournful, solemn and communal.

I cried a lot on the subway this morning. Quietly but very openly. And while it’s no surprise that I was left alone, I was surprised by how not-alone I felt. No one seemed to be wondering why. Everyone seemed to be with me. With her.

It reminded me of a very particular moment crying on the subway after Dad died. I was on the Q train going over the bridge into Manhattan and there was a little girl in a tutu swinging on her dads arms. Each dad holding one of her hands and them lifting her together. I was so jealous in that moment, so overwhelmed. I cried the rest of the train ride and the first hour or so that I was at work.

One of the dads kept noticing me noticing him. I felt so alone in my grief that day. So determined to cry it out just to get it out of my own body.

And I remember after 9/11 the distinct lack of loneliness. I don’t remember crying much then. I didn’t completely get the specialness of what had happened yet. But the feeling was still there. The knowing eye contact, the stranger with their chin up, reminding you that there will again be sun.

Today was the combination of those two days. I felt grief and I took comfort in the community sharing it with me.

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