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.