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December 17, 2012


Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.

My brother died of a congenital auto-immune disease in 1979, when he was 17 years old.

That was a long time ago, more than half my life ago. If he was still alive, his 50th birthday would be coming up in a month.

My wife and I attended a performance of a boy's choir last weekend. One of the younger boys looked like my brother when he was that same age.

In about a second, my memory of my brother and the grief and sadness I felt at his death was, immediately, present with me. It's present with me, now, as I write this.

It was, and is, in a way, comforting, because grieving for him is the experience of him that is most available to me now. His absence is the way he is present in my life, now. Grieving for him is the way I am with him, now that he is not here.

If that makes sense, at all.

Grief for those you love never goes away, I think. It just becomes part of your overall weather. Your days have clouds in them, now.

It's a new country, and you live in it, until your own days are done.

Thanks for this, LJ.

Thank you for that, lj, and for your comment, russell. I had very little loss until 2005, when the deaths began coming. Life will never be the same. Just as every life is different, so is every death, and so is every grief.

I haven't sufferred what I would consider a major loss yet. I've lost grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few friends, but only one I would say was a close friend. That one probably hurt the most, but even he wasn't someone I spent time or spoke with all that often, only because he lived several hours away.

My father almost died a couple years ago, and I was grieving for him when I fully expected he wasn't going to pull through. But he did, so it's not something I continue to live with, certainly not in the way I would had he actually died.

It's kind of scary, being in my mid 40s and not knowing how I will react to losing someone really close to me. I can't even fathom losing my wife or one of my children. It seems like either one would destroy me.

(Grief) just becomes part of your overall weather. Your days have clouds in them, now.

A great image and a great way to put it. I'm writing this one down.

My dad died in 1974, and my mother never got over it or past it. She lived 31 years without him and never found her own way. Her grief in the beginning paralyzed her and eventually she resumed her life, but as she told me shortly before she died, she never stopped feeling the gap my father left behind. My mother could still find joy in life whenever a grandchild was born, and she wasn't the kind to mope around, but her loss seemed to tether her to what her life and dreams had been, and they would not let her go.

My mom died in 2004. I have never stop grieving. She now has 14, going on 15, great grandchildren. Her mom lived to meet 23 great grandchildren. I miss her every time a new child is born. I long for her advice on how to be a mother of four mothers.

I'm testing whether I can comment here.

I miss you Andy. It has been five years since my son died in Iraq. There has not been a day since that I have not grieved for him. There is no consolation for the loss of a child. To lose one in the case where no good end is served is unforgiveable.
Today, think of those still serving in Afghanistan and hope that they all return asap in good health.


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