Loss is a curious thing. Loss of someone who is alive is a curious thing. It curls like smoke in your belly, hovering there out of sight, sometimes even out of mind, constricting appetite. It's not a physical wound yet can blind with a flash when the pain washes back over with a familiar scent or a sound. A pain that will pierce between the eyes, or in the back of the throat. Sometimes striking paralysis, leaving the mouth agape and chest motionless, no need for breath for 30 seconds, a minute. You marvel that you ever felt anything other than the dull ache of grief, that you ever felt anything at all; you know you never will again -- that hurt will be carried with you forever, a river of scars unseen by the naked eye -- defining your past, informing your future.
Of course, it will lift. Little by little. Still defining, still informing but mixing with all other parts of yourself. The pain will be there. Always, but duller and less acute. The scars, that system of ugly marks left behind crisscrossing the psyche will whiten then fade, until they are just a part of the landscape.
I have lost. Beloved friends and lovers and family; so many, too many. I have loved wholly and seen that love disintegrate, to not be enough. I have contributed to the failure of relationships and I have been blind-sided by an abrupt end. It, the mourning process, never gets easier. I never feel stronger or better for any loss. And I never stop loving.
(Image of Joan Snyder's My Work)