The quote above was in a beautiful letter to me toward the end of my first romantic love relationship. I was about 18 as I recall. I can remember others with whom I loved, many of them didn’t know it, but that didn’t change the feeling.
In grade school, it was Laurie Dempsey. She only lived 3 blocks away too. But, what does a boy in 4th grade know about love? It matters not, as I still love her today when I think about her, although I cannot even remember what she looks like. It doesn’t change the feeling.
In high school, there were a few that I can recall with similar feelings, and I even took the privilege to dance with one at my 20th reunion. She became a Park Ranger and I thought that was fascinating.
Then at 21, I got married to Alice, and for 16 years we had a strange and interesting relationship. I fell in love with her the very first time I saw her. She lived next door. We sort of helped each other grow up, and as happens with any two people, we grew apart wanting different things, something more. I love her as much as I ever did, maybe more.
At last, bringing me to the present, I had an answer to prayer as obvious as any can be in the chance, or rather, not-so-chance meeting of Nancy in Hawaii while on a trip. It was April 30th, 1987 and on June 13th we were together as a family. For 26 years, we loved and lived and helped each other grow up. Nancy passed in August of last year and I love her as much as I ever did, and even more.
I was thinking about grief today. Maria Snyder said this on the subject: “Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life.” I think this is true enough. At first, I thought the sentence about it never disappearing was harsh, but as I thought about that, I saw how this has been true throughout my life.
Another quote from Khalil Gibran spoke a bit more true to me when he said, “When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”
As people have left my daily life in however that has come about, I find no sadness, and only greater love, respect, and joy. My love is expanded in seeing the silvery trail as clarity is allowed by the absence. My respect is enhanced in seeing more of the real purpose and how others are touched. My joy is increased by the realization of how lucky I was to be a part, for whatever length of time, and at whatever level I could have been involved with such a beautiful and wonderful person as they. I am also quite thankful to have grown to a place I never was before.
At the same time, I know they are not gone, and yet remain in a different form. They can never be gone, for they are in me, being part of me, and making me more.
My Grief Has Turned To Joy. I Am Blessed.
Spread Some Joy Today–by counting your many blessings and using that grand foundation to touch someone else.