Friday, March 23, 2012

We're now two years into a world without my grandmother which, you know, is still something I think about all the time. Sometimes it feels almost as though I'm trying to talk her back into being, and maybe I am.

Last week my friend Rick was reflecting on the year that has happened since a close friend passed away, and later he compares this past year with thinking of a friend who was lost long ago. He said, "My friend Valerie passed away 16 years ago now, and I still think of her all the time. The memorial date of the anniversary, I find, takes on less meaning as the years go by. The memories and love just come to you at random times, when you’re doing this or that. And, of course, when you are with close mutual friends. Some years I even miss the anniversary of Val’s passing. I don’t even notice it until a week or two later. But what I’ve learned is that your love, and your memories for them, don’t die, they don’t fade. And perhaps that’s best. I dont’ want to remember her death, I want to remember her life. And so I shall, through the years."

It was this that reminded me of my own impending anniversary. In some ways it's line the lines have blurred--each day without north on my compass is just that every time. We talk a lot about grief, especially lately, since the tides of loss have been sweeping the feet out from under so many people around me. The thing I find myself talking about the most is the luck of it all, which blurs all the lines too; the luck of having known such a person isn't made any less a miracle just because they're no longer here. Henry James wrote a letter to a friend about grief, and it in he said, "We all live together, and those of us who love and know, live so most. We help each other—even unconsciously, each in our own effort, we lighten the effort of others, we contribute to the sum of success, make it possible for others to live." The gift of grief is that we have the chance to pass this love back and forth, across time and space, disregarding all the lines.

Many years later Steinbeck wrote to his son about love, telling him, "Nothing good gets away." I have been finding that this only grows more true as time goes on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog. My heart is touched by your writing. This piece expresses so much of what I feel about my losses...but was unable to find the words. Thank You.