Saudade: the emotion of missing. #grief

Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English.  Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.  It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.  It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.  

Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again…  It can be described as an emptiness and the individual feels this absence…  In fact, one can have ‘saudades’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.


The emotion of missing.  What is it?  As the numbness wears off after Dad passed away on October 25, I find myself longing for that numbness again.  Now I feel the familiar sense of fear- sort of like walking on a unsteady pier or a balance beam that wobbles or a tightrope over a waterfall.  I am flooded with thoughts of doubt.  Did I do enough?  Should I have been more aggressive in getting treatment for Dad earlier?  Should I have taken him for more walks in the electric wheelchair?  Was he lonely and scared at the end?  These are expected thoughts.  I know that.  They are not to be avoided or feared.  It’s the process we all experience as we walk through grief.  I get it.  I dare to look.  But it hurts.

My father loved Cesária Évora.

See also:

Life has no opposite

Healing sock monkey watching over Dad

Document it.  All of it.

We’ve become a band of gypsies

Dad’s inner work

Dad’s last day

A pencil box. Regarded with reverence.

Change.  What does it mean?

Drawn Together

For Dad:

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura Mack says:

    Kat, I so appreciate you continuing to share your inner journey of grief, as you and your dad bravely shared the inner & outer journey of life’s most challenging transition. You pave a pathway of possibility for all of us who have yet to walk this part of life’s inevitable steps. And you remind me to treasure my aging mother just a bit more as I feel bits and pieces of her slipping away with every passing month.

    1. I appreciate your feedback and support, Laura. Lots of love

  2. Lucca says:

    Kat, I’m finding what you have to say and the complex emotional tapestry behind that to be art in themselves – I guess it is the wellspring from which art comes. It evokes so much in me about past present and future and not in a bad way. It is a reminder to explore my life now. Thank you for sharing with us. You are often in my thoughts and heart.

    1. Thank you, Lucca. Your words mean so much to me. Sending hugs

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