Saudade is a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.
Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.
In fact, according to Tereza Jarnikova’s article, who wrote on matadornetwork.com, this is one of 10 foreign words that defy adequate and appropriate translation. there would be too much lost in the meaning. Jason Wire wrote a similar article in 2010.
I thought about some recent losses in my life and the one most prominent is the loss of a good friend. I have spoken about her in my blog a few times. I have lost other loved ones but none so resonant as her passing.
It has been two Easters now since she succumbed to the complications of her cancer. She was a high school friend and we shared many childhood experiences. She was one of my links to these simpler times. Here are my posts about her. It pretty much expresses the sense of saudade I often experience when I think of her.
On her birthday, a few months after she passed away: https://likeitiz.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/its-vannas-birthday/
On her first death anniversary: https://likeitiz.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/vanna-on-her-first-anniversary/
On my visit to her grave in Cavite earlier this year: https://likeitiz.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/the-cavite-field-trip/
I have not meant to be all sappy and dramatic. But I make no excuses. I needed to express my sorrow.
I still have lots of high school friends. In fact, in the last two years, I have reconnected with them more often. Perhaps, Vanna’s passing reminded me that life is short. There are things I should do for myself beyond career and core family that would be good for me. One of them is to rekindle old friendships. I have found that many of them have withstood the test of time and distance. And it has been such a gratifying revelation.
- Saudade Happy Sad (grandmalin.wordpress.com)
- Saudade (rightdownmyalley.wordpress.com)
- Dealing with Saudade (gakuran.com)
- Saudade (agirlcalledlynsey.com)
- Saudade (bollywoodpersephone.wordpress.com)
- 10 foreign words we can’t translate (matadornetwork.com)
- Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 10 – Saudade (cognitivereflection.wordpress.com)
- Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 10 – Saudade: Remembering Mom (teepee12.com)