From what I’ve lost I will invent something else, something beautiful which will bear the more or less hidden memory of what has disappeared. Grief from loss can ruin us completely ; we are almost at one with it, almost ready to drown in its embrace. Grief, as unadulterated and concentrated pain, is like a dagger I place against my heart – it goads me on. It drives me to awareness ; it drives me to action. What I’ve lost gives me the energy I need to pay my respects to it and, in a way, to make it endure. Imagination comes from what I have lost, from those I have lost, from the world, which is slipping a little from my grip every day. This is the only way to defeat death, not to let it win. Loss, losing, is a gift. It has to become a gift. Turning loss into creation also takes turning yourself into someone else ; now you harbour loss within.
Over those past months I have been confronted to death several times. It is on my mind a lot, but I will not let myself be won over by despair, I will not bow down to it. This is our mission – the mission of the living – to take care of those who are gone. But keeping them in mind is not enough ; remembering is not enough. We have to be with our dead the way we are with child – pregnant with them ; we have to feed our ghosts, provide for them, let them hold sway over us. When we draw our last breath we will give birth to our dead and they will take us in their arms ; they will hold us tenderly and take us away from this world.
(translation : Shannon Doyle d’Avout)