When it is better.

It is seven months since I lost you.

Someone plunged into very-recent loss asked me when it began to feel easier, when the pain of the absence lost its swell and size, when pictures of the lost one incited more a sense of happiness and not the soreness of the dark, dreaded bruise that is heartbreak.

What I wish I could say: It took seven months.

I wish it were true to say that in seven months, it is much easier. But that would be a lie.

More lies:

  • In seven months, a sense of normalcy, laughter and memories of the old times will have misted over the scorch of raw grief. (Not true. The fire still burns.)
  • In seven months, the grievers will have put enough space between the moment they heard the news (that never, ever will they talk again with their loved one), and the churn of their present lives, so much space that it seems like a lifetime ago, really. (Fallacy. Pain doesn’t watch a clock.)
  • In seven months, looking at pictures of the beloved who is now absent engenders a good feeling, a happy feeling. The two-dimensional gaze from a photo has lost the power to take away the breath of the living. (Incorrect. A picture is worth millions of words and we are not ready to hear them yet.)

Is it better to be honest? Is it better to explain that pain is one way of hanging on, that the wound is a memento in and of itself of the terrible, catastrophic, loss? Perhaps.


Perhaps. But more than being an honest person, I am a kind person. And I say, “It has been seven months since I lost him, and it is much easier now.”