Tara's Diary

My grief is not yours, so don’t tell me how to do it, biko-Tara Martins Aisida

Comments (1)
  1. Soji Wey says:

    Tárá this brings a story to mind. You may have heard it or a variation of it.

    Young lady is cooking her first family Christmas meal after getting married a few months earlier. She puts the turkey in the roasting pan, but her husband tells her she needed to cut off the drumsticks first. She says, “okay, but why?”. Husband says, “I don’t know, that’s how mum has always done it”. New wife asks mother in law, who said she didn’t know either, but her own mother had always done it that way. They ask mother in law’s mum, and she says, “well, when I cooked my first Christmas turkey, the roasting pan was too small so I had to cut off the drumsticks to make the turkey fit. I meant to get a larger one, but forgot until the next year, so had to do it again…and guess what, I forgot again, and by the third year, I had gotten so attached to it, I couldn’t think of replacing it any longer”.

    My point is this, the things we get passed on to us may have been relevant when they were first practised, but no longer may be. Our problem is that we are not discerning enough to question the continued relevance of such practices, and we accept them as binding on us (one of my pet peeves is addressing female legal practitioners in the masculine because, apparently, “there are no ladies at the bar”), but that is a whole other issue.

    I commend your valiant efforts to challenge these inane societal expectations with regard to grieving. There are other areas worth looking at, too, where otherwise historically relevant practices have ceased to be quite so relevant.

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