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Love's Executioner

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Jordan Goldberg

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Love's Executioner

Love's Executioner
Irvin D. Yalom

Yalom's 4 major characteristics:
1) The inevitability of death for each of us and for those we love.

2) The freedom to make our lives as we will.

3) Our ultimate aloneness.

4) The absence of any obvious meaning or sense to life.
Love's Executioner
"Eight years ago, I had a love affair with my therapist. Since then he has never left my mind. I almost killed myself once and I believe I will succeed the next time. You are my last hope."
"So far it was apparent that Thelma's love for Matthew was, in reality, something else-- perhaps an escape, a shield against aging and isolation."
Thelma was struggling with death, aloneness, and freedom.
If Rape Were Legal
"I'll tell you the truth, if rape were legal, I'd do it-- once in a while"
"As long as he continued to believe that he was tantalizingly close to being desired and loved by an attractive women, he could buttress his belief that he was no different from anyone else, that there was nothing seriously wrong with him, that he was not disfigured, not mortally ill"
Carlos feared death and aloneness. He also wanted to find a purpose for his life.
"Everybody has got a heart. The second was 'I am not my shoes'"
The Wrong One Died
"'Can you believe, she said, "I can't even remember when, I can't remember how I learned my Chrissie had died?"
"She cried for her sons, for the unrecoverable years, for the wreckage of their lives. She cried for the two lost daughters she never knew. She cried for her father—whoever, whatever he was. She cried for her husband, for the young, vanished, hopeful times they had shared. She cried even for her poor old mother and the sisters she had blotted from her life twenty years ago. But most of all she cried for herself, for the life she dreamed and never lived."
Penny struggled with death of a loved one and finding meaning in her life.
"one must learn to live with the living before one can learn to live with the dead."
Two Smiles
"When she first came to see me three years ago, her husband had already been dead for four years, but she remained frozen in grief. Her facial expression was frozen, as well as her imagination, her body, her sexuality—the whole flow of her life"
“Marie and Mike locked gazes; and, once again, Marie smiled and nodded.”

Marie struggled with the death of a loved one.
Marie was important in Dr. Yalom's life because she reminded him about the different perspectives people can have on the exact same situation.
Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Stage Theory of Development
middle adulthood-- generativity v.s stagnation
middle-aged adults feel they are helping the next generation through their work and child rearing, or they stagnate because they feel that they are not helping.
Thelma has no children, so she has an attachment to a time, with Matthew, where she was young and still had a chance to help the world with child rearing.
young aduthood-- intimacy v.s isolation
Young adults form intimate relationships with others or become isolated because of a failure to do so.
Carlos' cancer has prevented him from intimacy, but he is in denial about his isolation
middle adulthood-- generativity v.s stagnation
middle-aged adults feel they are helping the next generation through their work and child rearing, or they stagnate because they feel they are not helping.
Penny is in stagnation because she lost her child and she was the only way that Penny could contribute to the future.
Theory of Mind
The understanding of the mental and emotional states of both ourselves and others.
Dr. Yalom, Marie, and Dr. C (Mike)
Dr. Yalom took the two smiles are sarcastic and ironic because of Marie's back story.

Dr. C took the two smiles as Marie truly letting go and accepting the changes.

Marie took the two smiles are accepting Dr. C's recommendation, but ultimately she just wanted him to move on and talk about the next subject.
Full transcript