Loss comes with familiar, bad feelings, sickening feelings: Oh yes, I remember this. I hate this. Waking in the night unsettled, knowing something is wrong. And then remembering what that is. I’ve long felt grief is doled out in pieces in this way because it would be too overwhelming all at once.
In a person’s life, one loss can bleed into another till it seems as if there’s a backlog, an accumulated weight that must be dragged around. I wonder sometimes at the resiliency of the elderly who must have known so much loss of all stripes. Do they ever feel, “No, that’s just one too many? No more? Not this one?”
The alternative – shutting down, refusing to care or to love or to be moved or become invested – isn’t an appealing one. And for a lot of us, it’s an impossibility. You ask you yourself: Is it worth it? Is it worth it? For me, so far, the answer comes back, yes.