Tuesday, October 19, 2021

There Is No Timeline For Grief

October 19, 2014.

Seven Years.

Eighty-four months.

Three hundred and sixty-four weeks.

Two thousand, five hundred and fifty-five days.

Sixty-one thousand, three hundred and twenty hours.

You would think that would be enough time for grief to run its course; you would be wrong.

The thing that I have learned about grief is that there is no timetable for how long it will hold you in its grip. You may go days, weeks, even, with nary a twinge of sadness. You may see someone who reminds you of your missing loved one, nod, and say to yourself "huh" before going about your day. You may see a picture, hear a song, read a phrase, any one of a thousand little things that could remind you of your loss, and, yet, go on and you're fine.

Then, there are the other days. The day when the familiar scent of aftershave drifting in the air at the supermarket is your undoing. The day that a flash of silver hair catches the corner of your eye and, for just one second, you think to yourself "there you are" while simultaneously being hit by the stark reality that, no. No, you aren't there. On these days, you are most definitely not fine.

The best that you can hope for are more fine days and that the less fine days will be fewer and farther in between. And, on those fine days, remind yourself of the words of Thomas Campbell: To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.

As for the less fine days?

Everyone Ever is also pretty wise.

I miss you, Dad. Even on the fine days; I still miss you.

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