The cliche saying is that you never get over loss. I think that's true, in one sense. Cliche in another because it doesn't even come close to capturing all the emotions that go with loss. Life does get easier, but there is always some part of the loss with you. I know it's insanely selfish to wish that people could stay around earth on my account, but I am always surprised when the loss catches me off guard.
My friend Pam's thirtieth birthday would have just happened recently. She only made it to 26. Two memories of her have caught me off-guard in a lovely way in the last few days, as if to celebrate her birthday.
#1: We went to NY last weekend. I told Brent I'd only been once before: chaperoning a group of 13-year-old band students. We walked to Battery Park to see the Statue and I had this bright memory I'd totally forgotten about. One year in college, I went to see Pam in New Jersey for her birthday and New Year's. We drove into the city for one night. It was freezing and we parked the car and RAN to see the statue. That was all we did. That, and sit in a coffee shop for awhile because it was too cold to do anything else.
Memory 2: Patty Griffin's song Rain just randomly shuffled on and that reminds me of senior year of college. I can remember listening to it over and over in our funny little college apartment. I can remember Pam saying she wanted to dance to the last song on the album, the one is Spanish. Ironically Rain comes as close as any song to truly capturing the overwhelming nature of grief. (Another favorite on that album is Nobody's Crying).
Life is beautiful and surprising, even when the grief catches us off guard. Guess that's the point, right?