The Human Condition: Good grief!

Mariah Senecal, Staff Writer

I believe that we are all grieving something. The ruination of a friendship, the loss of a relative or the end of an era. Grief is an odd entity. For me, it’s been over five years since the loss that changed my life. Sometimes I’ll go months without a tear, other times I’ll break down at just the thought of this loss. There is some grief within all of us and it can truly change us when we experience loss.

Grief hardens us, making us suspicious of the world. Experiencing loss is the inevitable passing of innocence. Losing someone causes you to realize the iniquity of living. You come to realize that there is not a person who doesn’t suffer loss. These feelings put us all on a level footing. We know that regardless of all of life’s differences, we all are born and we all die, we also all experience loss.

It registers both the joys and the pains of life.  The pain of our first loss is always raw, a gaping wound somewhere in our psyche. We struggle with the fragility of life and upon that realization, most every other concern becomes comparable to a fleeting fancy. Everything is impermanent. We cling to memories of what we once had and we don’t wish to move forward, we desire a return to the golden times of ignorant bliss. But time is the only thing that subdues these feelings and makes life easier. I don’t believe that “time heals all wounds,” but rather that time softens the blow.

Time makes us appreciate our treasured memories and reminds us to savor each moment. I suffered — and continue to suffer — the loss of a role model, my grandfather. I think of him frequently, usually when I’m planting or repairing something, and sometimes when discussing topics that I know that he would find interesting. In remembering him in those moments, I am appreciating and considering my own actions in a more significant manner.

Although grief is a trial, and one that we must undergo far too often, it makes us the person we are supposed to become. I would never have considered the path I am walking if it were not for the inspiration of my grandfather. His legacy is mine to carry on.

My loss makes me appreciate the time that I have with others that are important to me. Sometimes these lessons are easier than others, and always I remember the ease with which he could fix my problems, as easily as he could fix everything else.