Stirring the Grief Pot

Been awhile.

I can’t even say I’ve really been trying, either. My trips to the keyboard have been few and far between since April.

April was rough.

I just reread that, for the first time since I published it, and all I accomplished was to break myself up again.


Is it lame to cry at your own writing?

It isn’t the writing, though. It’s the subject.

The subject to which I subject myself right now.

A lot of you came here and read those words.

Dunno how many of you will be back for this, though the stats show a few of you have returned, just to be met with nothing new on the main page.

Sorry about that.

You should know I have a history of disappearing for sometimes long intervals.

Usually there’s a good reason.

Historically it’s been a variation on: “Jon’s brain is broken.”

I fight depression and anxiety, and I don’t always break through.

But I always come back.

Often, it’s on or around November 11.

There’s a reason for that.

Grief is interesting.

It ebbs and flows, across days and years, but it never really ends. Sometimes it takes us under, like the swell of an angry sea, whilst other times we float as if upon a gentle pond, barely aware of the deep, dark pain that lurks beneath.

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief, since April 24. Sometimes you don’t realize just how much of rock-solid presence someone is in your life until they are gone, and you are set adrift.

So it is with Deb.

It doesn’t help that I’m typing these words on her old MacBook Pro — a bequest.

I sit, typing my little thoughts, and I can’t help but think of all the times her fingers danced across these very keys, how many times she stared at this very screen, interacting online, using it as her entryway to our role-playing games during the pandemic, seeing my words when she read them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief, since June 14, 2020. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad the worst can be until it happens — the death of a parent.

So it is with my father-in-law, Norm.

The man was such a presence! Never was a room with Norm in it a quiet room. Never was he there and you didn’t know it. He loomed so large in life that his absence is a giant, echoing hole, hole, hole …

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief, since May 28, 2019. Sometimes you know exactly how important a single person is to the course of your life.

So it is with my friend Ray.

Because I knew him, I accepted his invite to finish a card game, and because he knew me, the future Empress of Whisky accepted me enough to talk, and from there, love bloomed.

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief, for what feels like most of my life. Sometimes you don’t know how much death will be a part of your life until you start living it.

So it was with my great-grandmother, who died in 1980, when I was five.

Since then, it’s been a stream of departures, some expected, many not. And every one is different, and every one matters, and every one I remember.

Even though today is marked for one particular death, I am beginning to consider this Grief Day, and tonight, when I make the Memorial Meal, I will be thinking, of course, of the one it was initiated to honor, but the names and memories of so many others will be there with me, too.