Sunday, September 22, 2013

the language of grief


I think of the chimp, the one with the talking hands.
In the course of the experiment, that chimp had a baby.
Imagine how her trainers must have thrilled when the mother, without prompting, began to sign to her newborn.
Baby, drink milk.
Baby, play ball.

And when the baby died, the mother stood over the body, her wrinkled hands moving with animal grace, forming again and again the words:
Baby, come hug, Baby, come hug,
fluent now in the language of grief.

–Amy Hempel
Reasons to Live


image via buffleheadcabin


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