Monday, June 4, 2018

Grief Is Love

Today the Universe was kind to me. A friend from my childhood shared part of a quote by Jamie Anderson. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I recognized the feelings and was deeply grateful for the way Ms. Anderson described grief as love. I went searching for the source and found her blog All My Loose Ends. Soon I found her original post, with the full quote: As the lights wink out...

Since my Mom died a year and a half ago, at age 93, I have struggled with all the emotions you would expect. As Chuck and I have been involved in an enormous renovation of our old farmhouse, over and over I think “Oh, I’ll have to tell Mom about this.” or “Mom will love this.” The thoughts are always in the present tense. Instantly, the penny drops and I feel a swift wave of loss/grief/mourning followed by a slight disorientation. My Dad died 30 years ago at 68. And Mom’s passing has once again sharpened the pain of Dad’ absence.

The mental and physical challenges of the renovation have been therapeutic. But the joy of the progress remains tempered by this undercurrent of mourning. That’s why Ms. Anderson’s quote resonated with me. I still have all that love - not uncomplicated love, but powerful love natheless. So it helps to interpret this grief as the proof of the love; perhaps the price of the love. As Rabbi Anne Brener wrote in “Mourning & Mitzvah”: “The truth is that relationships continue to grow and change, even after one of the parties to them is dead.”

As Chuck and I sit on our new stone patio, I picture Mom and Dad visiting or Chuck’s late parents visiting - impossible reunions to be sure. Navigating these new relationships with our deceased parents is both fraught and blessed by all the memories, sweet and sad. It is challenging, but, yes, comforting too.

Photograph of Frenchman Bay in Bar Harbor, Maine and Layout LMR/Pink Granite. Software: Apple iPhoto ‘08 & Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Mac. Font: Hypatia Sans Pro.