Sorry and Grief

It has been a week of grief. A scene on tv. A new smell. A passing memory. It all sends me near tears. Like forgetting a burden until my knees buckle.

I don’t know why. I just know there is a need behind the sadness. Something to be heard and honored.

Crying is a great hollowing out. Sometimes gentle. Sometimes violent. It washes away resistance to what is. Ushers in room for acceptance. Sometimes we have to accept terrible truths because terrible things happen.

Twelve years ago the man I call my grandfather lost his son to suicide. There are no words for that suffering. As much as we have talked and shared, I cannot begin to imagine his pain.

He would never be the same. A piece was lost forever.

But something grew in him. That hollowed out center now holds space. For love. For compassion. Even, eventually, for happiness. Not a moment taken for granted. He has done something beautiful with his pain.

I think of my grandfather when I cry. I thank him for showing me how to live, even in the face of the great and terrible.