Twelve weeks, two days

Loss is sometimes defined by context. I was talking with my son recently and we realized in unison that the further out we get from Ray’s death, the harder it sometimes seems. That would appear to be inverse logic, but it’s because we can only absorb grief in small amounts at any one time.

If you haven’t experienced a significant loss, you might imagine that grief would be so overwhelming that you would simply be crushed under the weight of it. Sometimes it does feel a bit like that, but then you can shake it off and proceed with life for a while more. The human mind simply cannot contain massive grief, so it processes it a bit at a time. That measured grief goes on and on. What happens with time, at least for our family, is that we realize more clearly as time goes on that he is actually gone. Ray isn’t coming back.

I said this to my son and then apologized for making such a childish observation. But he corrected me. We haven’t actually gotten that far in processing the reality. To do so fully would be unfathomably painful. So we do it in those small chunks, but in turn, we are struggling to get our arms around the size of it. I would equate it to looking at a pebble and then trying to comprehend the size of Earth on which it rests. The scale is just too much.

We are blessed with this coping mechanism of only looking at a small part of it at any one time. It’s a slow process, but it means we can survive it….

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