Unacceptable Loss

Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you’re gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Those words are from the song “Rain” by Patti Griffin. I first heard this song a week or so ago, and when she sang these words, I burst into tears. And I don’t mean silent tears; I mean a real boo-hoo. I was listening to this in my car, on the way out to shop, but had to come back home to repair my makeup. That kind of crying.

Why did these lyrics hit me so hard? Every so often, without warning, I fall into a deep deep deep sadness. I feel like crying. And sometimes I do. I feel the need to hug myself. And, inside, I do. Nothing has happened in my life to account for this sudden darkness. It’s happened so often for so long I’ve learned to just ride it out. Just wait. This too shall pass.

But I never had an explanation for it—until now.

Yesterday, while under one such cloud, I picked up Dani Shapiro’s Devotion, which I had started reading a couple months ago. I read this part about what happened to her after she moved from New York City to the Connecticut countryside:

“In the country, I stopped being a person who, in the words of Sylvia Boorstein, startles easily. I grew calmer, but beneath that calm was a deep well of loneliness I hadn’t known was there. No wonder I had been running as hard and fast as I could! Anxiety was my fuel. When I stopped, it was all waiting for me: fear, anger, grief, despair, and that terrible, terrible loneliness. What was it about? … In the quiet, in the extra hours, I was forced to ask the question, and to listen carefully to the answer: I was lonely for myself.”

Instantly, I knew. That deep deep deep hurt, that sadness that makes me want to weep weep weep, is loneliness. I miss myself. A part of me is lost. And I must find it.

This is an unacceptable loss.

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18 thoughts on “Unacceptable Loss

  1. Oh Linda! I wish I were there to give you a big hug. We could open a bottle of wine, sit out by the roses with a small plate of strawberries (not raspberries) cry and jot down any life changing epiphanies we may discover about ourselves in our journals. Or, better yet, we could eat raspberries and laugh about how horrendous I look when my face swells up and forget we were ever sad in the first place.

    That feeling of loss is a necessary evil that helps us take stock in the things we love and value about ourselves and the world around us. When I feel that river of saddness I wade through it with knowledge that when I reach the other side I’ll have a new appreciation for something – even if I don’t know what that something is before I get there.


  2. Linda! That song gets me every time, too. This was the song where I realized just how powerful Patty’s music is. The lyrics to that one are particularly good; paired with her voice, and the melody, I’m about to cry right now, just thinking about it.

    And, because I hurt with you. Like darksculptures, I want to fix it and wish I could be there to give you a big hug, too. And eat strawberries. And have that delicious wine you told Melissa about when she asked you to send her some. 😉 In all seriousness, though, I experience those times too, where sadness just falls from the sky without warning. It’s hard, and I know there’s no easy fix for it. You’re right, though, it will pass. At least you have some inkling of explanation now, and maybe soon it will pass for good.

    I’m here if you want to talk more. I’m glad we’re friends. 🙂


    1. Kayla, thank you for caring. It would be great to share wine and strawberries with you. Let’s just do that now … we’re writers, we can imagine it. 🙂 I wish you’d warned me about that song though! 😀


  3. I can relate to this all too well. Especially my first two winters here in Chicago where I’ve known no one. It feels bottomless and it’s really hard. I hope that you find your way out of this little spell soon.


  4. Ditto your other supporters, Linda. I’ve been there. I was lucky – I knew the part of me I had lost. What I didn’t know was how to recover it. After several years, serendipity intervened and I found myself in a community of women, some of them struggling with the same issue. And I found my way back.

    But I’m different now – fuller, stronger, and less lonely for me. Because I found more than I had lost.

    I know you’ll get there with time.


    1. Thank you, Pamela. That’s the hard part now, discovering what I’ve lost. I’m not sure if it’s a new loss or an old one. In time, I believe it will be revealed though. I have been dreaming almost every night lately, long, detailed dreams, but I can’t quite remember them in the morning, so I know something is moving below the surface. Oooo … wow … that just reminded me of the Kate Bush song “Under Ice”

      Under Ice

      It’s wonderful,
      Everywhere, so white.
      The river has frozen over
      Not a soul on the ice,
      Only me, skating fast.
      I’m speeding past trees leaving
      Little lines in the ice,
      Cutting out little lines,
      In the ice, splitting, splitting sound,
      Silver heels spitting, spitting snow
      There’s something moving under
      Under the ice,
      Moving under ice – through water
      Trying to get out of the cold water
      “It’s me”
      Something, someone – help them
      “It’s me”.


  5. I think a lot of people, myself included, can identify. I spent most of my teenagehood in tragic, unhealthy, consuming relationships, so that by the time I stepped out on my own, I had no idea where I was, who I was. I ran, too. But running never got me anywhere.
    So I started exploring, reading, writing again (after a long hiatus), and began the trip back to myself. What I’ve discovered is that I’m still changing. There will always be something new to learn, or realize. Being open to listening to myself, and excavating motivations and reasons behind my reactions, is essential.
    It’s hard, meeting new people. And its harder when that person is yourself, the one person you thought you’d known all along.
    I’m excited for you, though! Like you said, now that you understand the cause…


    1. You said: “It’s hard, meeting new people. And its harder when that person is yourself, the one person you thought you’d known all along.”

      I like that, Eliza. I guess meeting new aspects of yourself is one way to keep life from getting boring. 🙂


  6. I just wanted to add my support and empathy. I know what it’s like and I’m thrilled that you had such an epiphany. I’m now giving it some serious consideration for myself.


    1. Thank you, Kerryn. I credit Dani Shapiro for the epiphany; I only resonated with it. Always, when that darkness descended I felt I mourned the loss of something, I just never knew what until I read her words. Now the task is to find in what sense I’ve lost myself. It’s a question I’ve kept coming back to these last few days. I know the answer will come; I just need to wait for it.


  7. You are very right. I stumbled upon your blog and I enjoy what you write. I agree with you, it is an unacceptable loss. I have often felt this way and it was really bad the past two years, when I finally realized it was a part of me that was lost, I was not so “lost” anymore. I could put together myself in the search for what was lost and why it was lost.


  8. I love this song, Linda–words and music. I play it over and over again. Kayla was the one who introduced me to Patti Griffin a month or so ago when she wrote the blog post on her. I immediately listened to snippets on iTunes and downloaded about 12 songs.

    I think I know what you’re writing about. It happens to me too but only for moments. It can happen watching a commercial even. It’s such a weird phenomenon–I wrote about it in my first novel.

    And I’ve found that Dani often has the words I’m looking for…


    1. Kayla introduced me to Patti Griffin through that post too. 🙂

      And, yes, I find the same thing with Dani’s Devotion, I’ve been surprised many times, how she seemed to put my thoughts into words.


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