Two groups at Daily Kos specialize in exactly this: In Memoriam, a tribute to Daily Kos members who have passed away, and IGTNT (I got the news today), one of the oldest series at Daily Kos, which let us all mourn the loss of soldiers who died in America’s longest war. Death is a subject that we tend to avoid, but in the end, the reality is death is unavoidable.
In my college years, one of my favorite classes as a history student was “History of Death & Dying”, coursework on how society changed our views on what death means. A hundred years ago, families would visit the graves of loved ones frequently, having picnics and talking to their young children about who the deceased was and what they did. Families who had wealth would buy larger stone markers or mausoleums. Families who could afford it put up grave markers with details and dates in strong stone to make sure they would stand and tell the story to their progeny. As time went on, society found less interest in going to visit a gravesite.
Upkeep became an issue. The markers of the past were difficult. Putting flat plaques in the ground? Why, a riding mower could just go right over them without a stop. Since fewer people come to look and stay, the memories didn’t last very long.
I’m one of those people who can tear up at music I love, at memories of people I’ve met and their impact on my life. Maybe it comes from my own youth, as I remember my entire household being stunned and my oldest sister and mother reduced to tears at the death of John Lennon. This week, Laura Clawson wrote a beautiful tribute to a labor leader, Richard Trumka, the president of AFL-CIO. Whether it is a public figure or a close person in our life, we often have a need to share the impact they had on us. And, because it is hard to remember, I want to remind you that is OK to wishing we had more time to know someone even if those feelings seem selfish.
Connecting with each other through our grief, personal and collective, helps us all understand the issues we care about. I hope if you’re struggling with a loss that you find some comfort in Daily Kos communities.
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