I used to think grieving was just about missing someone.
Or if a person’s life was cut short prematurely, about being upset about that, kind of on their behalf.
So, in my usual dense way, I didn’t have much patience for people making a big deal about somebody old dying that they had never seen fit to even mention before.
Now I realize that grieving is also about stories ending. That’s the best way I can put it. When I look at pictures of John, Barbara, Uncle Bill, and Aunt Lou, young and in their prime, I feel sad for their stories being over.
I wasn’t “close” with Aunt Lou, probably never spoke with her over the past 20 years other than the time she came to my wedding and the time she came to Barbara’s funeral.
Our families got together only once or twice a year when I was a child. So I wasn’t this big part of her “story”, but I was part of it. I was her sister’s daughter. I knew her and her story and I was in it.
I look at pictures of their youth, and I know how it turns out. There’s something just so sad about that.
Maybe it’s like a novel where they put this epilogue and tell you how everyone dies. That’s always kind of annoying, isn’t it?