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.... three words that I read recently.
In a book of fiction. A book of suspense, really.
About a widower of 8 years.
Three words that described, not his wife, but ..... grief.
"The pain flooded in again. It was always there, of course. Through the shaking hands and slapping of the backs, the grief stayed by his side, tapping Griffin on the shoulder, whispering in his ear, reminding him that they were partners for life."*
I've never really thought of grief like that. I mean, of course I'll grieve Jim's death for the rest of my life, but I never thought of grief as personified .... or as a partnership.
If I think of Grief as more of a "person", I see him (no exact reason for this choice of gender .... it just seems like a "him" to me) differently than I saw him in the beginning.
During those first two years I would have said that Grief was pure hard, cold evil. He was trying to talk me out of existing, and he was doing a pretty good job. He was bigger than I was, stronger than I was and he seemed to envelop me with his coldness. He was relentless, seeming to reach inside of me and touch my heart with his cold, hard fingers .... causing more pain than I thought was possible to survive. Grief worked almost 24/7. He was tireless.
But, as hard as he tried, he failed to accomplish that goal.
And that seemed to make him a little weaker.
Grief has grown even weaker since those days ..... and I expect that he will continue to do so, but he'll always be right behind me, ready to tap me on the shoulder when I least expect .... just to remind me that he's there.
He has become less evil, too .... though he does have his moments. But sometimes now, rather than tears, his presence will bring warm memories .... and small smiles along with the sadness.
I have grown stronger, while he's only grown weaker.
Grief will never again have the control over me that he once had, though I know he will still surprise me from time to time.
And that's ok.
Because that's a part of loving Jim.
Always loving him, no matter where I am or who I'm with.
And that, too .... is ok.
So while I think it's true that Grief will always be in partnership with me .... his share of this merger gains less and less of me. Less of my attention, less of my thoughts .... less of my tears.
Which makes him a very minor partner.
And that .... is very ok.
*Tell No One - Harlan Coben