Article Title

The Patterns of Grief


Colin Bay


grief, humanity, illness

Document Type



My sister Pamela used to have a Partridge Family album with absurdly sappy lyrics and titles like "I Think I Love You" and "Stop and Turn Around, Somebody Wants to Love You." Some afternoons when my mom was gone, Pam would put the record on, stand in front of the living room mirror and look into her own eyes while solemnly mouthing the words of the songs. That was satisfying to her, and though I was embarrassed to watch her, I understood: she was in the fourth grade and there wasn't much else to feel. I believe my empathy then was cousin to the sensation I had years later, in front of the television, when I felt a communion with humanity grieving for the man in the freezing Potomac who passed a life preserver to other struggling passengers, then went under the water.