A friend whom I've come to know through this blog emailed me this the other day. (Thank you, Anne) It's from "The Brain in Love" by Daniel G. Amen, MD:
"What happens in the brain when you lose someone you love? Why do we hurt, long, even obsess about the other person? When we love someone, they come to live in the emotional or limbic centers of our brains. He or she actually occupies nerve-cell pathways and physically lives in the neurons and synapses of the brain. When we lose someone, either through death, divorce, moves, or breakups, our brain starts to get confused and disoriented. Since the person lives in the neuronal connections, we expect to see her, hear her, feel her, and touch her. When we cannot hold her or talk to her as we usually do, the brain centers where she lives becomes inflamed looking for her. Overactivity in the limbic brain has been associated with depression and low serotonin levels, which is why we have trouble sleeping, feel obsessed, lose our appetites, want to isolate ourselves, and lose the joy we have about life. A deficit in endorphins, which modulate pain and pleasure pathways in the brain, also occurs, which may be responsible for the physical pain we feel..."
So that's what it is, my Dan Cho nerve-cell pathways are inflamed.
In all seriousness though, what interests me about this kind of passage is the interplay between science and souls. I have to wonder, is this all that's happening? Can these intense feelings- pain that I never knew was possible- be reduced to a scientific explanation about the neurons and limbic areas of my brain? (Isn't it insane that we have to "study" ourselves and these bodies we inhabit? Wouldn't one know one's own body if it was really one's own?) The grief books I don't really read are primarily about the more clinical aspects of grieving- so it's a process- something that can be studied. What I will go through can be charted and explained. But that is so contrary to the experience of being here- in this.
So does this pain
begin in my brain?
And did you end when your brain lost oxygen and your body broke down in that awful water.
Is that glob of gray really responsible for all of this?