The Absurdity of Grief

-a dispatch from the grief process

What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act… The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith … I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection.

— Søren Kierkegaard, Journals, 1849 (quoted here)

fishboyI am very fond of the absurd. The absurd encompasses things that are so extreme that there is no other response to have but to laugh. It’s not necessarily a humorous laugh. Sometimes it’s a little cynical or even bordering on bitterness.

In the definition of absurd there are words like:

  • wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate
  • ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous
  • contrary to all reason or common sense

“It derives from the Latin absurdum meaning "out of tune"” according to Wikipedia. (an often absurd source of information)

So I’ve hit the absurd portion of the grief program it seems. That is apparently what’s on the other side of the existential wall encountered yesterday. So there’s absurdism to be dealt with. 

The absurd is not all that unfamiliar to me. It’s pretty close to my everyday viewpoint on a lot of matters. Having an appreciation of absurdist literature also helps.

So I’ll pretend Kafka is writing my life story for the next while and see how that goes. Some of the choices offered:

“I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.”
Franz Kafka

“You can choose to be free , but it’s last decision you’ll ever make”
Franz Kafka

“I am free and that is why I am lost.”
Franz Kafka

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