I've been a bit lax in updating recently, only taking on Glee reviews and the perennially-tardy Smash recaps, largely because real life keeps distracting me from my more frivolous pursuits. So yesterday, I was tangled up in some real-life business, and my mother called me to tell me Joss Whedon was speaking on NPR. (My mom is my Buffy buddy. The woman never warmed to any sci-fi or fantasy in her life, but somehow Buffy the Vampire Slayer really spoke to her. I don't get it either.)
Deciding to indulge in a break from work, I flipped on the radio, expecting to hear Joss talk about Dr. Horrible and The Avengers. But instead, a man was speaking about his own mother - and ultimately, what it was like to lose her suddenly to a lung disease. Needless to say, this was not the Fluff Piece I was expecting; I ended up sniffling into my Kleenex, the fact that my own mother had accidentally recommended this to me made it all the more heartwrenching.
After some research, I learned that the story I heard belongs to Dan Savage, an author and journalist whom most know as a sex advice columnist as well as the founder of the "It Gets Better" Project. The piece aired on "This American Life," with the theme "Return to the Scene of the Crime." Dan speaks about his mother's death igniting a sudden obsession with the Catholic Church - a religion he was raised with, but ultimately rejected. Equal parts comic, tragic, and thought-provoking, "Our Man of Perpetual Sorrow" is currently on my mind as not only a touching memoir of one man's mother, but also a poignant introspection on loss, faith, and the absurdity of death.