I don’t believe that we owe anyone grief to infinity and beyond. And I also believe that I owe it to myself to move through and beyond my grief, no matter what the cause.
And today, on El Día de los Muertos, I acknowledge that some losses are easier to process than others.
Already the stories of my sisters come easily. I can look at the framed photos of laughing parents and friends and slide effortlessly into happy memories. I grimace at their foibles and growl under my breath at the unfinished work of our lives together. And I remember hilarious stories about my loved ones and my relationships with them. Even the photos of our beloved young people evoke good thoughts of who they were and how they lived their short lives. Time has soothed the open wounds of their passing.
Yet, there were too many deaths this year to make it all easy. The losses are too fresh and in most cases, the deaths were not in sequence. Young people should not be swept from their parents’ lives. And they should not choose to die. Men should not lose their family unit. And young children should not face life without their fathers.
But my decision of what should be is not what is.
Today as I cook and think and love and remember, I will have moments of utter sadness. I allow myself sorrow and piercing pain for those we lost this year and for my family and friends whose losses are greater than mine.
Even so, my grief has boundaries. It is captured in the tastes and smells of this day and dissipates into the laughter of those who gather to remember with me. A year of grief will transform itself into a day of rejoicing.