Dr. McCoy mentioned in class that Toni Morrison (who, as we know, incorporates different types of love as a major theme in her novels) has done interviews discussing the dangers of both loving/being loved too little, and loving/being loved too much. This interested me greatly on a personal level when Dr. McCoy said it. I have quite recently experienced a death in my family and, as a result of loving “too much”, it has taken a heavy toll on me and my daily life. I don’t mean to look for sympathy from you, my peers, and I am aware that this is a public blog rather than a personal diary. But I feel that my emotions relate directly to what Morrison discusses in the interview I have embedded below, that is, the dangers of loving “too much.” Thus, I am going to discuss these emotions in this post.
I have never had a more difficult time concentrating. (This is partially why I’m including such personal information in what is supposed to be an academic discussion, I’m simply having a difficult time focusing on other things. Let this not act as an excuse, but rather as an explanation.) The wake, which was open-casket, kept me in a funeral home for nearly eight hours. Surrounded by loved ones that I do not often see, we began to chat and catch up on each other’s lives. This happened later in the day, of course, as on arrival we were all too emotional to discuss much of anything at all. I found that while conversing with someone about a much lighter subject I would get distracted and not think about why I was there in that funeral home. And then, accidentally, I would look to the front of the room and see my beloved grandmother lying still and looking cold in a box garnished with pink flowers (pink was her favorite color). Conversation stopped, the room got darker. Why are you sleeping, Grandma? Wake up, everyone is here for you. Wake up, wake up.
Despite that I am no longer standing in that too-small room inside a funeral home on Long Island, this sensation is still occurring. In the past two weeks since then I have done poorly on tests and tend to lose hold of a conversation halfway through. I get distracted and forget about the recent events, when suddenly I see her somewhere: A picture in my head, a pink flower, my handwriting looks like hers when I write quickly in cursive. If I hadn’t loved her “too much” I would not hurt so bad. But I did love her “too much,” maybe not as fierce but still similar to how Sethe loved Beloved, and all of her children, “too much.”
These are the dangers I am facing for loving “too much.” They hurt and I wish they could not touch me, part of me wishes I had not loved “too much.” But though this pain hurts, I think that Toni Morrison is right when she says in her interview with Moyers that the risk of loving too much “seems not just to make life more liveable, but a gallant, gallant event.”
I highly encourage everyone to watch this interview. What Morrison says is, as always, truly beautiful.