Last night I read The Maytrees by Annie Dillard. It is a fast read, but is her usual perceptive, probing, descriptive writing and is quite a story of forgiveness and love.
I am intrigued by this paragraph.
"If you were a prehistoric Aleut and your wife or husband died, your people braced your joints for grief. That is, they lashed hide bindings around your knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and hips. You could still move, barely, as if swaddled. Otherwise, the Aleuts said, in your grief you would go to pieces just as the skeleton would go to pieces. You would fall apart."
How different this is than what we expect. "Hold yourself together," we say. Hold yourself, and so we do, with muscles tight as bone.