My heart aches for my online friends, and I would take their pain if I could. As we age we accumulate terrible anniversaries and share the knowledge of what they mean.
A couple of years ago, I came across a passage about grief so wise that I saved it. I remembered it when I read of Patrick’s loss, and I shared it with him. Let me convey those words to all of you too:
"…when grief hits, mourn deeply and thoroughly, in your own way, as long as it takes. But allow and celebrate the glimpses of joy that come with it. If the loss was great, expect the winds of memory to bring it back. So mourn again. Celebrate once more. With time, it will become easier but it will never truly end."
Moments like this bind us in our common grief. Too often we understand the deep pain. But so often we don’t know what to say. Many are so afraid of saying the wrong thing that they say nothing at all. Please don’t let that fear stop you from extending your sorrow for someone’s grief. Poorly spoken words are better than no words, for any attempt at connection will be welcomed.
Shared happiness is multiplied; shared sorrow is divided. Let’s help each other shoulder the burden in the dark times.
Update: I have learned the name of the man who wrote that beautiful passage on grief. I knew him online only as "Dick," but Richard Rumage is the rightful owner of those words. A couple of months after I received permission to post this here, Dick died a natural death at 79. His words live on.