Friday, March 4, 2011


It's a funny thing, this business of grieving. There is no timeline, no right or wrong way, and no warning when a wave of grief will hit you.

I've been catching up on overdue filing and purging old paperwork because "Hoarders" is starting to look a little too much like my basement and spare room. As I sorted through a pile of papers, I found the last birthday card my Mother-in-law sent to me. She always dated her cards. I also found last year's St. Patrick's Day card. She was the only person I know who sent St. Patrick's Day cards. I'll miss that, and so will Dave.

I also found the copy of the eulogy that my cousin Glenn gave for his brother, Murray on Labour Day weekend, 2010. For various reasons, I was not able to attend the service in Field, BC, and I have yet to forgive myself, although I did give a valiant attempt to find a way to do it before giving up as reality and obligations trumped my need to say goodbye in person.  While I blinked back tears at the St. Patricks Day card, Glenn's comments about Murr opened the floodgates and picked the scab off the grief that had diminished.

We all grieve in our own way. There is no timeline, no "proper" way. There is only loss and pain and finding our way through to the other side. The only way to get through it is to go through it, and the journey is personal.

Tears remind us of the loss, but also of the love. Tears remind us that, even though finite, we loved and were loved by a special person.  Tears remind us that sometimes now is all we have. Grief and loss never goes away; over time it diminishes to a sad acknowledgement rather than a raw open wound. And the time it takes is whatever it takes for whoever is grieving.

I need to remember that sometimes.