The Ache


Losing a loved one is an acute trauma that slowly transmutes into a chronic ache. Sometimes it’s hardly noticeable, like when you’re at a social event meeting new people. Other times the throbbing is palpable, like when you return after the festivities to an empty house.

Nothing is as ubiquitous as grief—or as unique. It’s a common anguish that’s hard to share. I’m a professional writer and I can’t adequately put The Ache into words, although I keep trying. (That’s what writers do; give voice to the unutterable and insufferable.)

Loss shifts our gaze from the horizon to our wake as the river of life sweeps us toward the valley of death. The tiny craft we call the “Present” is only about three seconds long and no match for the current. Row like Olympians, we can’t slow down or put into shore.

Each new bend blocks off something precious: youth, innocence, opportunities, physical health, mental acuity and loves one by one. Of course the curves also provide healing distance from: immaturity, dysfunctional homes, indiscretions, toxic relationship and confining circumstances.

My mind knows there’s no future without a past; no tomorrows without yesterdays. For us, time flows in one direction (general relativity aside). I choose to believe it is toward a better place beyond this broken world.

In the mean (sic) time, my heart aches.

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8 thoughts on “The Ache

  1. Hug. I totally agree – grief is a unique experience. We grief what WE lost. That relationship was unique between us and the person that is gone. I saw that when my mom died suddenly and my siblings and I each grieved differently. We each had our own unique relationship with mom. You had a totally unique relationship with Susan and no one can fully understand your grief. It’s between you and God.
    Another hug.

  2. In the immortal words of Harry Chapin, “There’s no straight lines, make up my life, all the roads have bends, there’s no clear cut beginings and so far crooked ends.”

  3. i know that pain all too well – loss of loved ones that cannot be replaced. life has to go on, but it sure isn’t the same as what we had planned. i’m sorry your in pain brother…..i love you.
    middle sis

  4. I know The Ache too well. Does it sometimes seem that the make up of the entire earth was altered by the passing of one person, and no one else realizes the signifcance of that? The checker at the grocery store doesn’t even know nothing will ever be the same again. Amazing…. and I was once the same!
    Pat

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