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Joy, Sorrow, Grief, and Love.

“I have finished grieving, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him.”

I have paired these two clauses together to make one thought I believed to be complete.  I wanted anyone who was listening to hear both, to hear the ‘but’ in the middle.

Please understand. Please, please, please understand me.

This weekend, a dear friend said to me, “Tricia, grief and love aren’t even remotely the same thing.  You’re comparing apples to oranges, and they’re just not related.  You can finish grieving and never finish loving.  You can love him endlessly.  You’ve linked those two in ways they’re not meant to be together.”

I learned so long ago that Joy and Sorrow are sisters in the same house.  They coexist, hand in hand.

Perhaps Grief is the greedy guest.  She sprawls across the furniture with her cold, heavy blankets, and she hides in the dark corners.  Now that she has gone, I have only the memory that she was ever here at all.

Love has stayed all along.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I don’t really understand how you can “finish” grieving. It is not something you can turn off.

    • Helene, you are right – it’s not something you can turn off. When I say I’ve finished grieving, I mean only that I have done the ‘heavy lifting’ of grief, that the sharpest pain isn’t quite so debilitating anymore. It doesn’t mean I’m not sad, and it doesn’t mean I don’t have difficult days… in fact, I’ve had three in a row this week. But the darkest, loneliest part isn’t a place I can find anymore.

  2. Beautiful thought, Tricia! I long for the day when Grief is just a memory. I know that Love will be here forever.

  3. Beautiful Tricia simply beautiful~ I smile for you today! Love remains ALWAYS!! Amen!!

  4. Mom has been gone a year….My mother-in-law, two years….slowly, but surely, the “gut” pain of grieving and the frenzied emotions in my thoughts and mind have given way to a calm. I danced the “dance of grief” and yes, now the happy memories come to replace the nightmares that cancer can bring. I look forward to the return of school this Fall, in part, because the handwritten “Cinnamon Roll” recipe that maps out the two-day process of creating the treats my mother made for us for so many years is sitting on my recipe holder staring at me. I have looked at it for months, waiting for the right time to relive a happy memory and feel her presence in my kitchen.
    God’s love and peace to you and your boys, Tricia…..

  5. Oh, a big AMEN to that! And when (I believe it’s when, not if) you find love and joy with another some day, it won’t mean you’re “done” loving Robb, either. It will mean your heart has expanded and made room for more love, just as it does when we have more than one child.

  6. This is beautiful, Tricia. Simply beautiful.

    • seconded

  7. I do understand what you are saying…………. and what you have said here is beautiful.

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