No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine

By Lotte Buch Segal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Enduring the Ordinary

It is a loss, my children lost the word “dad”; to me it is
the loss itself, losing him.

This is how Nadia expressed the loss of her first husband. Here I return to Nadia’s situation and use it to analyze loss, endurance, womanhood, and the ordinary. In Chapter 2, I described Nadia’s living room décor and we learned that she was the only one among the detainees’ wives who was also the widow of a martyr. Expanding on how the loss of her husband affected her relationships, she emphasized how his death had been an invitation for her kin to intrude into her life. The family believed that she should remarry and become the wife of her late husband’s brother. At first she did not want to at all, but after a while she agreed. “Now,” she said, “I am married, but not in practice…. But when people intrude, there is protection.” Nadia reveals that her marriage cannot be enacted in the practice of sharing a day-to-day life. Even so, her marriage functions as a shield against intruders, which at least gives her a sense of privacy. Perhaps it even allows her the safe place that was evoked by the psychotherapists discussed in Chapter 1 as a therapeutic aim of their interventions. Nadia sees the void left by both her deceased and incarcerated husbands, however, as much more than simply a place: “It’s on the inside; there’s an empty space, a hole in me.”

Nadia’s evocation of loss as emptiness refers to the death of her husband. However, paying attention to how she says, “my children lost the word ‘dad,’ “ we might consider this loss as something other than bereavement. Nadia’s deceased husband is the father of her three oldest children. The father of her

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No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note on Transliteration x
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Grammar of Suffering in Occupied Palestine 26
  • Chapter 2 - Domestic Uncanniness 48
  • Chapter 3 - Enduring Presents 81
  • Chapter 4 - On Hardship and Closeness 99
  • Chapter 5 - Solitude in Marriage 124
  • Chapter 6 - Enduring the Ordinary 143
  • Conclusion 167
  • Notes 177
  • References 183
  • Index 197
  • Acknowledgments 207
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