Friday essay: homesick for ourselves – the hidden grief of ageing

Anyone parenting young children will be familiar with the phrase “there’ll be tears before bedtime”.

But in a quieter, more private way, the expression seems perfectly pitched to describe the largely hidden grief of ageing.

Not the sharp grief that follows a bereavement (though bereavements do accumulate with the years), but a more elusive emotion. One that is, perhaps, closest to the bone-gnawing sorrow of homesickness.

Sarah Manguso evokes this sense of having travelled further from our younger selves than we could ever have imagined:

Sometimes I feel a twinge, a memory of youthful promise, and wonder how I got here, of all the…

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