Self

To mourn, what is it?

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Today Now, we are talking about mourning a loved one like that of his purse. Indecent in the face of the terrible attacks of New York or Madrid! Abuse of psychic jargon or symptom of our anguish in the face of death? It seemed important to us to give back to an expression too often overused.

Sophie Rostain

Monday, January 5, 2004, morning conversation. Marie distractedly listens to Frédérique take stock of the weekend. Suddenly, his face closes. Frédérique tells her about her son's goldfish, who died on Sunday evening, and about the son's pain: "I do not know how to help him mourn, I do not know anything about goldfish!" "Before I have time to understand, I exploded," Marie remembers, and I tossed her face that he must not confuse everything, the death of a goldfish and the death of people. I told him all the disasters I knew: the Saint-Michel metro bombing on September 11, Sharm el-Sheikh, I ended up asking him: "And when he loses his GameBoy, he will mourn? "She was flabbergasted, I turned her back on her, I boiled, and in the evening I understood my anger: child, I went through a mourning, a real one, not a goldfish, and no one told me helped then ... "

Thursday, January 8, 2004, Red Sea, off Sharm el-Sheikh. A French sailor launches a wreath of flowers, traditional tribute to the disappeared at sea. Then men, women drop a flower, an object, a word tenderly written on a sheet. For observers, this ceremony is the first act of mourning that families will have to do.

A catch-all expression

Two situations, a few days apart, one comic in its excess, the other dramatic, and the same words: "to mourn". A catch-all, invasive expression, to the point where we do not know where to hurt anymore: over an aquarium, in front of our television, in whose arms? Will we hear tomorrow women talking about the mourning to make their purse stolen? Men, the disappearance of their car?

Professor Michel Hanus, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, president of the Thanatology Society and the association To live his mourning , gets upset: "The expression" to mourn "dismisses death. " Three words that would unintentionally say one of the evils of our time: the denial of death and the difficulty of thinking about lack. Moreover, who would come to scramble the cards: "Everything happens as if it were an imperative, but we" must "not mourn, we live his mourning," said Michel Hanus, who adds: "The positions of society to death are complex, paradoxical and exciting: there is at the same time social exclusion from death - but man has always wanted to ward off death - and, in the same time, for about ten years, a renewal of death.AIDS and the development of palliative care have been a step. These two currents are contradictory, but do not cancel each other out. "

Reclaiming the event

One would almost dare, was the indecency of the comparison, to take as a symbol the catastrophe of Sharm el-Sheikh: One hundred and forty-eight dead, no body Curious deaths, and this word, "disappeared", which says everything and nothing, and especially not the inevitable And the faces of the relatives on our screens, the 8 in the evening, silhouettes lost on a ship of the French Navy

An event that Michel Hanus analyzes, as he did the attack on the World Trade Center: "In this type of disaster, people need to see, even when there is no has nothing to do. Moreover, to say that there is nothing to see is not essential. In the case of disappearances, even if we have every reason to believe that people have disappeared, when we do not see, we do not know. You must always try to see the bodies. "

A point of view shared by psychiatrist and psychotherapist Christophe Fauré:" One of the essential points is to reclaim what happened. Going on location contextualizes a death experienced as unfair and absurd. If these people had not been to the Red Sea, one would think that in a few years they would still think that the body may have been found somewhere. That the deceased is not dead. This ceremony is the way to enter a process where one can say to oneself: "I will have to learn to live without this person. "An intellectual process, then emotional."

Optimist, Christophe Fauré is not alarmed by the misuse of the expression "to mourn." Instead, he sees the sign that society opens his eyes and " begins to rediscover what mourning is, the need to pay attention to this particular time of life. "And the firstfruits for the mourners of what he calls a" wrapping ", as Jacques declares in his own way Chirac: "I wanted to tell you all, at this dramatic moment in the history of our country, the consternation, solidarity and compassion of all French people who feel at your side."

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