Monday, November 01, 2010

Me and my granddad

This second anniversary of my granddad's death might have been even worst than the first one, if only because it's compounded by the additional loss of my grandma this year--the sure knowledge that in some ways my world is only going to get emptier and emptier.

Last Christmas, PZ Meyers wrote a thing that stuck with me, that I think about whenever I miss them, which is often:

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. I can remember the good times I had with my dad, and the good times I've had with my children, and can look forward to a future of fulfilling cheerfulness with friends and family — this is how we cope. 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.

So it's the other things I'm looking at, the places that are filled with joy. Being an elephant and hanging out with Lloyd Dobler, the little guy dressed as a very serious chicken and joining us for his first brunch. (He was very much in favor of sucking on a spoon that had been used to stir coffee.) All of the fun holidays coming up, the promise of a winter filled with snow, carrying an umbrella with the solar system just above me. Sometimes, the only way out is through.

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