I woke up yesterday morning, as I do most September mornings, thinking about my daughter Zuzu’s birthday which is this month on the 23rd in fact. This year it’s her 19th. 19 years old! Where does time go? So, I got up, took out the photos of her that I keep in my wallet, and looked at them, thinking again, “19 years old, crikey.” Then I saw the pictures of the dead toddler on the beach in Bodrum.
I considered this question every year with the expectation that the answer will become more obviously, “Nope, not any more. There is a statute of limitations on this one, and it’s now past due.”
The problem with Trigger Warnings is that they often exacerbate the pain than they seek to protect us from. They also propose a world where healing from many different traumas is homogenised into a synthetic mass agreement on what constitutes pain, damage, confrontation or peace. The synthesis is too simplistic and is in fact more demagogic than pedagogic: it speaks to a mass lie of consensus rather than enabling people to learn their way through their horrors.
I was living in Sydney, Australia the day that my daughter died of a combination of pneumonia, a badly administered anaesthetic following dentistry work and her disability. She died in the room next to mine. I discovered her in the morning.
Where is My Dead Husband?: I feel mad in the sense of not sane. I feel scared that I am making bad decisions. I feel weak and poor in all possible ways. I feel alone. But I don’t feel as shocked, scared and abandoned as…