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Closure

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Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


0 posted 07-20-2005 01:56 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Once in Hammond, Indiana
there was a white haired old man
who everyday around noon would
come and stand on a particular corner of Main Street.

The story was that decades before it was there
that he was waiting for his fiancé on their wedding day.
She never arrived having been killed in an accident
on her way to him.

I actually saw him.

Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


1 posted 07-20-2005 03:03 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Touching and pathetic.  You mean he never married after his fiance died while he was a young man?  All those decades ago?  Or is he still there as a ghostly sort?  Clarification?

And yeah, I'm a hardass on some things.  Mourning a loss that strong for a short time, like a handful of years, is one thing.  Mourning for decades is just morbid.  Publically displaying this mourning for decades is morbid and pathetic, not to mention kinda sick.  What do I know though...I was never that man's shrink.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


2 posted 07-20-2005 04:54 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Alicat,

I’m sure he’s gone by now
for he was a very old man when I saw him,
Yes, as I understand it, he never married; apparently
she was, to him, irreplaceable.


As to him and others like him, ( I’ve read similar
accounts from earlier in the last century),  being morbid
or sick, I think that may be a modern though
not necessarily better point of review.

Also as to “public display”, like a man with a terminal
illness, I’m not sure how much, if at all, he was conscious
of, or cared for, the “public” around him.
Midnitesun
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


3 posted 07-20-2005 05:16 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

'closure' is such a personal issue. I've seen people accept closure in less than a month, some, a year, and yes...some, it's a lifetime for whom closure never really happens.
Alicat? I don't see long term mourning as necessarily morbid or sick, though most people do find their way out of the mourning stage eventually. The gentleman's annual stand on the corner? could just have been a quietly respectful reverie moment for him. Now if he constantly wailed, wrung his hands and carried on publicly? well, then I guess I'd deem that an unhealthy lack of adjustment.
Yea, you do come across as a hardass in this reply.  
SEA
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 01-18-2000
Posts 24152
with you


4 posted 07-20-2005 07:18 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

yeah Ali, you hard ass you...

it's his way of looking at it, it doesn't hurt anyone that he thinks it's morbid. That seems sad to me, because maybe he's never felt love that strong before. But that is just my way of looking at what he said. We all have our own thoughts on it, and I think they are all personal and not everyone is going to feel the same way about it.

I personally think it's terribly sad, and very romantic all at the same time. For whatever reason, the man just couldn't love anyone like he loved her, and he missed her.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


5 posted 07-20-2005 08:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm with Ali. It may sound terribly romantic to some, but it's not normal, it's certainly not healthy, and frankly, I very seriously doubt it's anything more than an urban myth, John's "sighting" notwithstanding.

Losing a child is a horrible thing, but that doesn't mean one stops having children or stops loving those already born. Moving on doesn't mean pushing out the old, it simply means opening the door to the new. No matter the depth of one love, the human heart is always capable of holding more. Love knows no bounds.

No, it's not a romantic tale. If I read it in a story or poem, I would laugh and call it a childish cliché, a clouded reflection of a reality, a lie.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


6 posted 07-21-2005 01:11 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

Oh, he was real alright.
He was a square set old man
of medium height with white hair
and a thick white beard, (looked
European to me).

In my readings on the 19th Century,
and the years before, during and  after WWI I
came across similar stories.

I remember being told his story
only after mentioning him as a curiosity
at the office, (I had noticed the coincidence
of, and peculiar atmosphere of solitude in his arrivals during
my time in the area on temporary local assignment; and no, people
were not pulling my leg).  It’s very much like being told you saw a
well known ghost.

Why would he be any less likely than a priest,
a recluse, (my first impression before being told
was that he was a religious something or other),
in some particular devotion, only his more
personal?

I don’t understand monasteries
or nunneries and yet they are.
And what do they do, at least in part,
but memorialize a man who’s been dead
two thousand years?

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (07-21-2005 01:50 AM).]

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


7 posted 07-21-2005 09:32 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

John, I've seen old men on street corners, too. Heck, these days I might BE an old man on a street corner. I was not doubting your word, but rather your conclusions. And, yea, I've also come across similar stories. That's why I called it a cliché.

Still, I'm not saying it couldn't happen. It would just take substantially more than local gossip to convince me that love is the root cause of such sad, pathetic dysfuntional behavior. At best, I would see love as an excuse.

For the record, I don't understand monasteries and nunneries, either. I do, however, think I understand the difference between forsaking love and trying to expand it beyond the drives of our emotions and hormones.
James_A_Fraser
Senior Member
since 09-03-2003
Posts 981
Out Making Anticlines


8 posted 07-21-2005 09:44 AM       View Profile for James_A_Fraser   Email James_A_Fraser   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for James_A_Fraser

Cliches do happen in reality -- that's part of the reason they become cliches.

I can understand how that sudden ghastly loss would make a person back away from marriage.I have a feeling that fellow recovered from it well enough to live and support himself somehow, then perhaps fell back into it as he aged and the old agony gradually became a delusion, occasionally stopping there to mourn at first, then more and more as the years passed.

There's a place I go....a couple of places in fact....and I can very much see myself spending a day or many days in those places if the world keeps turning as it has been. Who knows, maybe someday old Jamie will be an urban legend!



~~J

LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


9 posted 07-21-2005 09:54 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

I don't think whatever happed to this man is romantic, may not be a public display, but simply a story that people put together about him...b/c he chose to be silent about it...????

Whatever, it is his choice...to do with his life as he wishes...doesn't make him sick or morbid...and until that man sits down and tells his entire story, its rather wrong for us to assume...and judge...some people, believe it or not, are better alone then they are with someone else...

God, I've made so many mistakes b/c people, loving friends thought I had to be married to be successful, and pushed me into dates, etc...NO...No...No...I do not have to be with someone to be successful or to gain approval from society...of what "they" deem to be normal...and I'll be d--- if I'm going to latch onto someone simply to have them take care of me...or fear of being alone....that wouldn't be fair or right or compromise who I am, or what I believe just to have someone in my life?  

Who decides if this man is happy...him and him alone, be it by our ideas of what happiness is, or his...we do not have the right to judge him for his aloneness....or wanting to be alone, or wanting to morn...

Ali, there are some people who are so darned co-dependent on having someone in their lives, it doesn't matter who it is...just b/c they are afraid of being alone????  So they jump from one relationship to another, to another, all their lives????

Maybe some of us say, I've had enough, don't want to be hurt again...or hurt anyone else...don't want to live up to someone elses' expectations....I can't be that person...I want to be myself...moods, faults and all....????

Maybe that is how this guy felt...maybe he didn't have such a good relationship with this gal...????

I dunno, but what I do know is, he has every right to live his life the way he chooses, without being labeled, judged...doesn't he?

I'm thinking out loud here, not attacking anyone for their belief...but also, respecting this man's lifetime secret and decission.  I've got enough on my own plate to make assumptions of someone elses life style...????

But maybe, their love was so special, that no one else could ever take her place, and if he felt that way, he has a right to...regardless of how we do not understand his decission, we must respect it, as long as he hurts no one, and it doesn't seem as if he had?

[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-21-2005 10:48 AM).]

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


10 posted 07-24-2005 06:16 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“Might not even death itself be humbled, if one could recall enough?—
if one asserted, with sufficiently passionate and reiterated emphasis,
the eternity of love?  Accordingly, every bed in which Victoria slept
had attached to it, at the back, on the right hand side, above the pillow,
a photograph of the head and shoulders of Albert as he lay dead,
surmounted by a wreath of immortelles.”

Queen Victoria
Lytton Strachey
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