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What The Sea Took Away | With Carmen Ejogo

2019-01-09 | 🔗

How do you talk to your children about loss? What secrets do you keep, and for how long? And when do you decide to tell them everything? Emily Listfield faces those questions in her essay, read by Carmen Ejogo ("True Detective.")

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love the pod cast supported by produced by the island at W B. You are faster. oh the from the New York Times and W B, where Boston. This is modern, the stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host, Magna, Chakrabarti the! How do you talk to your children about loss? What secrets do you decide to keep and for how long and when do you decide to tell them everything Emily list field tells the story of how she faced those questions in her peace with the sea took away. A daughter restores by
go. She starred in start in Selma as Coretta Scott King, and you see her in the new season of true detective on each bio. Fourteen years ago, my husband vanished a talented sculptor, whose work was a major actions he had been in a downward spiral. For over a year, Finish a single piece of work tumbling into alcoholism, paralyzed by depression,. after ten years of marriage. He moved in stdio in lower Manhattan, stayed in our nearby apartment with a five year old, daughter, Sasha. We spoke every day. often more honestly than we had a news about the drink.
That was destroying our marriage, the demons he had phased in triumphed over in the past and why he couldn't fight them. Now, most of all, we spoke of censure. He adored her and despite everything, made it doting father? I hope the separation would make him face what he was in danger of losing his family, the ability to create art and get the help he needed. Instead, he went to Florida to stay with a woman. He had. A in college fell further into alcohol's that haze filled with self blame unreachable at midnight on August nine, if few days before he was to home
he apparently swam into the ocean as far as he could go and didn't come back, Apparently, is the word, the king, to find his death and my life for years to come My husband's body was never found the woman. He was he was staying with waited for days to call the police when the when they arrived, they found it. Credit cards. Unused airline ticket to New York and two drawings, one said drowned
Other lonely head dead for the first few days I told session nothing. I come to the hope that my husband would be found in a hospital with magically appear at the airport for his return flight or worst case scenario, that his body would be discovered in some weedy cove. None came to pass and I discovered there is.
As absence without answers. Finally, I had no choice but to tell Sasha her father had disappeared and we didn't know what had happened each night. She asked if there was news Alex twirling in agitation, the horror of losing a much loved parent exacerbated by the quicksand of uncertainty. If the world could swallow up one parent without a trace or protectionist, there. Six weeks later, as I began to accept that we might never have answers, I lied and told Sasha. The police knew for sure her father had died. We held a memorial service and Sasha began to heal
it rose when she was eight Sasha turned to me out of the turned me out of the blue and said mum. Please really know for sure what happened today. story. She was so ready to believe six was proving leaky. She She began to make a better endings in school. She tales the man who ventured into the ocean at night only too cover he had forgotten how to swim always in his stories, he was. he'd by mermaids, suddenly reclaimed his aquatic ability and upon his return to shore his wife, And what were you thinking? I held firm in my conviction,
firm in my conviction that her father had died. That night, I wanted despair Sasha the realisation that there would always be a black hole in the centre of our lives for the inevitable people question. Where is your father? I gave her pat answer just say: drowned you don't need to exclaim. And my own life, particularly as I started dating again the dating again The surreal and open ended. Nature of what had happened was as this nothing to dismiss as to me. Nevertheless, Saturn's that applied. I have no father on school form. She wrote as none rather than deceased.
The few times she tried to explain the situation in more detail. She was bombarded with questions. She could not answer. Still. I It unsettling that she was who a father who, despite his struggles, deeply loved her deeply. Eventually, I published novel based on the story. The act of shaping the narrative helped me to move on. I was worried how Sasha, then Fourteen and an inveterate reader might react. I prepared a speech to give her with the book, stressing that I would be happy to I would be happy to answer any questions about her father's death and I waited. Novel languished on her bedside table for three years before she opened it. She claimed be too busy. She kept pictures of her father,
pictures of her father in her room, but she never again enquired about the details of his disappearance. My version was version. My life story has until now Sasha twenty years old and a junior in college received an assignment to write a life story only. She could tell I want to write about that. She texted me She intended to make to make an impression. Is decay say about how his death it shaped her, but Professor had another idea: she suggested Sasha approach it as an investigative peace. My first response
How could how could this woman have any idea? What she was asking long. Try to shield my daughter from the vortex of uncertainty, the last I wanted was for how to stop poking around reaching out to people from years ago. Who may harbour conflicting theories, one them My husband must be alive somewhere and it had taken me seven years to get it
seven year to get a death certificate. My professor said she might be a bit hesitant to protect such as set my life to, and I've been thinking about doing this for a while, we tell our children the stories of our lives to shape our shared history, to get them identity in meaning and sometimes to protect them. At some point, though they were yank the story from our hands and make it ass. I agree to help such nevertheless my inclination was to try to control the flow of information. I called my husband's best friend from Florida and his brother
is a learning them too, such as coming inquiries. I ask him to keep the door closed on any questions they may have about his death, though they assured me they had none a few Sasha email to say she had decided to turn these assignment into a multi media project. She asked for photos of the police reports, the coastguard charts of the ties the night her father died, the private MR records. On a wintry afternoon, I opened the box that happens shut for years and began snapping pictures with my phone, the officialdom, used airline ticket for his trip back to New York. The address book, the police found that still had the hearts he had drawn around my name.
heart he had drawn around my name when we first started dating for all of my fears, though it was not her father's death, it ended up interesting Sasha. She excepted it is backed sad bizarre haunting incontrovertible. It was his life that she wanted to learn about. termination her did you know that daddy lived in an abandoned building when he was in college and eight can save so he could put all his money into his art. She asked me it was that burning ambition that will to create that I first fell in love with, I told her
but I love with, I told her realizing now how make like spoken of it. Do you have any idea what made him so committed to sculpture? She almost, I remember the photograph of him and his mother, a dressmaker in Germany, standing at the table while she caught patent It'll work, I hadn't looked at it in a decade, I haven't looked at it in a decade, but I sent sexual long with photos from his shows a list of his collectors reviews. If his work before the bottom fell out stories, I wilfully had forgotten in the effort to forge new life.
Sasha was hungry for detail, and I did my best digging up shots of a past that felt at once distant and immediate, but the sadness that descended on me did not spill over to her. She was too busy filling in pieces and stitching them together. It is a particularly american story. I told her of a boy who came to this country at eight, not speaking the word of English, the teenager, who left a difficult home and put himself through college and graduate school and artists the succeeded magnificently and failed miserably sells by his own, the diction In the end, the story she wrote was about a man who redefined himself through art.
Thought I had talent and years trying Take my daughter from her father's death and she gave me back his life. The that's Carmen Joe go reading. Emily list fields, essay with the sea, Took away a daughter, stores will catch up with Emily after the break. The.
I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually. when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in theory. It may have happened again today, but then have one again. Who I have. One friend HU. I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous at assented to my parents or something me and my dad? We likes this time you together and I wish cuz it out. Jack. Jackpot yeah right Editor for the New York Times you can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games. When we talked to Emily List Field, she told us what
plus talked to Emily, like to she told us what it was become a single parent after her husband's disappearance for the first two years. I was just so tired, and trying to provide as much structure. I really to provide as much structure. I really do believe that to get children through any kind of crisis structure, I was honest with her about how sad I was, but I didn't want her. With her about how sad I was, but I didn't want her to see it all the time, so I would drop her off at school. cry on my way to work to my job cry my way home and then be mom. Emily says that she had no choice but to keep it together. I remember a friend and said to me, I would have had a breakdown on no one told me that was an option. I thought I to get my kids school every day, get a job other very prosaic matters was: if there's nobody, there's no life insurance near suddenly, this all support of your family so
I got you that way. I also have family nearby and had a very close network of friends who could help out she also had to work through her own emotions about what had happened. I was heard and angry at veered back. Fourth, there was one night within the first. Weeks or I was so angry that in of the night. I started throwing anything you ever touched and there. other times that I was angry because he wouldn't see has child grow up and how could he do that to her Emily says that for a while she saw the apparent suicide as a selfish act. There was one night about two years into this. I just was in so much pain, and I thought this is why someone does it. You can just an that pain and I knew he was in pain.
I also knew that I was a parent and could never do that, but he thought he was doing us a favor and again. Alcoholism was at the root of a lot of this for everything I'm us It's been almost ten years since Emily's husband went missing She is in law, school now and she's. Finally, read the book. Her mother wrote about her fathers disappearance when I first wrote a book about that. She didn't Rita for three years and then she finally didn't. She was in Washington DC and she went to the Library of Congress and she asked for the book and it came an hour later and she sat there and she said the dedication was to her memory of her father and she said so we'll be together there for HUN.
The Emily list field. The book is called waiting to surface Emily is the author of six other books. She lives in New York is the author of six other books, She in New York City, we got more from Carmen Jogo Joe go after the break, love. My boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes, when I open up scrolling sometimes when I open up spelling- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed. yeah? I have one again who I have one friend
HU. I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous at it to my parents, or some me and my dad. We likes this time you together and I wish for the grout Jack jackpot nice yeah I'm the same as the sky? The digital puzzles I'm same is risky. The digital passes editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at an why times, dot com, slash games, here's Carmen Joe GO play. Think there's something fair It's a deeply personal connection to this particular story. Me as somebody that lost their own other in somewhat mysterious circumstances and had to create my own narrative over years and its human nature to sort of find ways to survived something that is deeply painful or confusing all this,
narratives in some way that you will find narratives that fed another you, even if you love him. Fed another story by those that love and want to protect you, so I think that this idea of being and one story and then coming up with your own and then ultimately trying to discover who life. What the best side of the death is in life rather than in death is where I resonated well very it levels the thanks again to Carmen for reading this week's piece, carbon stars in season three of HBO's. True detective the stars in season three of HBO is detected and here's modern love editor Daniel Jones What do you do with stories?
question of what do you do with stories that are too dark for children oh it's a child story. How do you What point do you tell one. What I thought the real beauty of her essay is is that at beauty of her essay is is that at some point to want to claim that story, as her own the child in this case is able to spin that around and give that back. but the child in this case is able to spend that around and give them back to her mother, almost as a gift of his project, a sort of reclaiming her father and her fathers, and the brightness about bad conscious of beautiful, written and poignant bright. At the same time next week, wanna, cooling and one morning. Sixteen years. Fleeing my hometown. I open.
My emails at home in San Jose California find Marco's read if you are new, calling Then I have been your boyfriend since fifth grade. Have been your boyfriend is fifth grade. Please get back to me, so we can figure out what to do. Modern love is the production of the New York Times, and w b you are fosters NPR station is produced. directed and edited by Jessica, Alpert, Caitlin, O'Keefe and John Perotti original scoring and sound design by Matt read the, I was Adler's our executive producer, Daniel Jones is the editor Adler's, our executive producer, Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p dot m. I feel of a show tell your friends about us,
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Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.