I remember having a telephone conversation with my grandpa about 25 years or so ago. He was feeling a little sad and started going over the litany of all the people in his life that he had lost and that he missed. I was listening to him and nodding; he had indeed suffered some losses including his wife, son and some good friends. But when he went back to the 50s to mention his brother, and even farther for his father, I grew a bit impatient with him Their deaths were so long ago after all. Shouldn't he be over them by now? Shouldn't he be looking forward to the next generation of great grandchildren and great nieces and nephews?
And now in my 50s, I get it. I feel quite chagrined about it, but I understand where grandpa was coming from.
Maybe my Aunt Dot said it best when she says hearts break, but they heal. Heal they do, but the scar from that hurt always remains as a reminder and once in a while, as damaged areas from a distant hurt or injury do, they ache again. Not as searingly painful as they were at first, but as a dull ache. Just enough to get your attention and to say, "remember, remember."
Last weekend I was watching Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole and came upon this scene with the wonderful Dianne Wiest.
Grief is a like a brick in your pocket - always there, but sometimes you forget about it, until you put your hand there looking for something else.
The best example of explaining grief that I've come across yet.