Grief Handbook, Part 16

What may surprise you, in the end, about grief, is how people around you respond to it.

When my mother died, so many friends–and even acquaintances–came forward with words of comfort, wisdom, their own stories of grief (the most comforting, ultimately), and just general love.  But also, and perhaps the most painful, are the ones who never came forward, and still, to this day, have not.

I don’t know why some people fade from our lives, but they do.  And it seems that the outpouring of grief or sadness may be the thing to make them fade away.

I miss them; I do.  But still, there’s nothing more I can do to bring them back.  I cannot stop grieving my mother.  I know that, because today, on what is the beginning of the sixth month since she died, I still hurt.  I still cry.

As Dylan Thomas reminds us, “After the first death, there is no other.”

I take that to mean: It does not get better; it only gets familiar.

I am so grateful for my friends and family who have stood by and held my hand, or sent notes, or called, or written.  I cannot begin to tell you all how much it means to me.  But it doesn’t have an expiration date, and foolishly, I thought it did.

I’m sad today.

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