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  • Writer's pictureApril Nunes Tucker

Betwixt and Between

It wasn’t’ until I read this article that I had ever heard of grief being equated to a liminal state.

I’m not grieving but I am going through the characteristic three-fold pattern:

1) separation

2) liminal state

3) re-assimilation

I’d looked into the concept of liminality during my PhD but hadn’t realized until today that that’s exactly where I’m hovering -- in a liminal state. I don’t belong here, I don’t belong in the past, I’ve lost large chunks of my identity and now, stripped somewhat bare, I’m hovering.

“Betwixt and between” is what characterizes the liminal. What will be my new life hasn’t yet settled or solidified (think of that effervescent body when being beamed up by Scotty in Star Trek). I feel ungrounded and lacking in substance.

This would explain my inability to ‘get out there’. I limp through social situations since arriving and it takes quite a lot of “psyching up” to leave the house. I was a bit worried I was suffering from depression or some sort of unexplained inertia but now that I can name this state as “liminal” I feel much better.

Another way liminality is described is “standing on a threshold” – you’ve left wherever you’ve come from and you’re waiting to enter a new space. It’s different from limbo which is where I spent most of last year. So, this is progress…moving from limbo to liminal…then again these are just words. We really create our own reality I believe through our state of mind and if naming a state brings lightness to it all, then I’ll take it!

“Oh, Yesterday’s over my shoulder so I can’t look back there too long, there’s just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can’t go wrong.” -- Jimmy Buffett

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