“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot… All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, in that lump in your throat, in that hollow in your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” ~JWA
In the wake of a recent personal loss, I stumbled across that quote that and was immediately struck. It rings so deeply, heart-breakingly true.
It reminds me that as years go by, the color of your grief will change with the passing time. Sometimes the edges will feel jagged. Sometimes you can look at a memory of a lost Love and feel just warmth. Sometimes just a whisper of a certain memory can take your breath away with the pain of it. The one thing that will never change is that grief, in all of its colors, is just love itself.
Only a few people will be famous enough to leave their legacy in the history books or rich enough to leave a legacy through foundations, statues or plaques dedicated in their name. Most of us will leave our legacy in love; in affection and tenderness that wells in the hearts of our friends and family when they remember us. After we’re gone, we will be remembered in the lives we’ve touched and the laughter we’ve shared.
That’s why at every service at Darst Funeral Home, we encourage the participants not to ever shy away from mentioning that person’s name to the grieving family whether it’s today, tomorrow, or 15 years from today. Don’t be afraid that your remembrances will bring a tear to their eye, or that those stories, those cherished memories, those reminders will be too painful; because all of that loving tenderness is that person’s legacy. And what a precious legacy, indeed.
So the next time something happens that reminds you of someone who has passed, the next time you realize that it’s a lost friend’s birthday or anniversary, share the story. Send a note to tell their widow that you’re thinking about him too. Post your memory on Facebook. Tell your dad “Mom would have been proud of you.” Don’t be afraid to say those things. Don’t be afraid to hear those things. Don’t be afraid you will cause tears – because even if you do, remember that it’s just Love after-all.
Erin Hein is the daughter of John Darst of Darst Funeral Home. She lives in Kingwood with her husband Evan and their 3 children Jack (5), Caroline (3), and Ian (1).
The quote used above is from a beautiful blog post on www.allofmylooseends.com