If there is one thing we have learned around here over the last few years is the solid round of loss and then grief, the phone call and then the long road back from being afraid of the phone. And here we are again, in this place all familiar and dark.
The older I get the clearer it becomes that the danger of all this love is all this loss, the constant struggle to avoid holding back on new love because there are already so many people to lose. It's been a while since I've talked about this, but I go back to this PZ Myers piece a lot:
One of the lies we always tell ourselves is that the pain will go away with time, that we’ll get over it, that time heals all wounds, and it’s not true. Every loss is forever raw, and we can feel it all again with just a thought or a reminder, like a Christmas phone call to the family. The older you get, the more of these moments of grief you accumulate, and they never leave you....Grief can grow, but so can joy. We can find delight and contentment in moments that balance the grief, without detracting from the honor we give the dead, and those moments also accumulate and never diminish in the happiness they bring to us....We embrace both the sorrow and the joy, letting neither reduce the other, and fill up our lives with everything. Hail and farewell, goodbye and greetings.My nana had Parkinson's Disease, which hit her hard and fast and young. It's a horrifying disease that we still know so little about, and it was awful to watch her recede into herself, trapped inside an immobile body. To a certain extent, the hardest part of this time right now is acknowledging that the hardest part is past, that the person we loved has really been gone for a long time now--that this new hole in our fabric is no longer filled by someone who has been suffering.
The geographical distance between my family and myself has shielded me from keeping the long watch, which obviously is terrain just riddled with guilt, but leaves me in the position of mainly remembering the time before. It's uneven comfort, but it might just be the most useful thing in the weeks to come.