My daughter and her boyfriend returned to Oregon yesterday and so I had my bought with the grief I feel every time my daughter leaves. I have felt a lot of grief over this daughter because I was unable to get full custody of her when her mother and I broke up in 1994. After not being able to see her for 2 years because my ex took her to the east coast I got Joint legal custody but not primary physical custody which meant in fact that I saw her about 10 weeks a year.
Now she is 20 years old and outside of skiing together for a week a year and a couple of vacations together we haven't seen each other much since she was 5. So, the last 5 weeks that she and her boyfriend stayed with us was heaven sent for us because they are just so happy and alive in their lives and in love with each other. And because they both are very mature for their ages they even have a good chance at long term success in their relationship.
But now, they are gone and it is unknown when I will see them again. My daughter sends texts from her phone and pictures once in a while but it is very sporadic.
So, once again my wife and I and our 13 year old are dealing with the grief of loss just like I have personally the last 15 years regarding my now 20 year old daughter.
But, I was thinking today about what grief is. And I realized that trying not to experience grief usually isn't very useful. Because if we feel grief it is because we love someone or some group of people and what is wrong with loving one person or a group of people that much?
Grief tells us about how deep our love is. If we didn't have grief at a loved one not being there sometimes we never would know just how much we love that person or persons. So grief tells us that we are alive. Because if we can't feel grief for those we love not with us then we are dead inside.
And as long as we remember our loved ones whether they are alive or dead then we can be with them. As long as we remember them we can be with them.
It is only when people forget when they get old or infirm that this love is lost to them. But as long as we remember those we love with fondness whether they are alive or dead they live on in our love and remembrance of them. And this is a good thing.
The last 15 months I lost my mother, my Aunt, my female cousin and my father-in-law. That is a lot to lose basically within about 1 year. But as long as we remember our loved ones in our heart and be proud we loved them when they were alive we can live on with head held high, safe in the knowledge that our love and our integrity and our memory of all those we love lives on.
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