Quote of the Day: Grief and Love


“Grief is the price of love, but it is love that makes the world go round, or at least one of the most important things that make life worth living. Love and the moral sense complicate life greatly, and make it difficult for most of us, for without them there would be no grief or any apprehension of evil; but without them we should be little different, conceptually, from an amoeba under a microscope.” – Theodore Dalrymple

Today is my 45th anniversary. It is the fifth one I have spent without Janet, my wife of 40 years, but despite her death, it is still our anniversary. I still miss her deeply and remember her in my daily prayers. I will go to her grave today and give her flowers. (Something I could never do while she lived due to her allergies.)

Dalrymple is right about love. Love is what makes life worth living. From our love sprang three boys who became good men, and three (so far) grandchildren. They (and their spouses) create a different kind of love, yet one that is as real as the one Janet and I shared. And which equally makes life worth living.

He is also right about grief. It is the price you pay for love. Yet I believe it is a price I have willingly paid. To avoid grief, I would have had to forgo a 40-year marriage that brought joy and happiness and the relationship created by that marriage. Just as the grief I experienced with my parents’ deaths was worth the relationship we had while they were alive.

The only way you can avoid that type of grief is to avoid relationships. If you choose to do so, your life may avoid pain, but it equally avoids the joy that comes from a strong relationship. At the end, you die unloved, unmourned, and alone — having forgone love and its joys for an anesthetized life.

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There are 9 comments.

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  1. BDB Coolidge

    Beautiful.  You make us miss her too :-)

    • #1
  2. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B

    I love that you are honoring her memory on this special day. And I wish more young people would think long-term about how their relationships will improve or diminish their lives and the lives of others. It’s a ripple effect through the generations, and it’s clear that your marriage has built strong foundations for yours sons and their families, so far.

    • #2
  3. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B

    This post is part of the Quote of the Day (QOTD) Series, which is one of the group writing projects here on Ricochet. The other is the monthly group writing theme organized by @cliffordbrown, currently open for volunteers to riff on the theme “Mother of —.” The QOTD signup sheet for May is here.

    • #3
  4. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat


    • #4
  5. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins

    Janet lives in our hearts out of your love of her.  Thank you so much.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Janet lives in our hearts out of your love of her. Thank you so much.


    True love is rare.  And it’s too beautiful to describe.  Many people never get to experience it.

    You are blessed.  So blessed.

    • #6
  7. Skyler Coolidge

    Love doesn’t make life worth living.  Life has intrinsic value by itself.  Grief, like other emotions, is a decision. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but it helps no one to grieve.  One should strive to celebrate the time together.  Easier said than done, but it’s the right thing to do. 

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Janet lives in our hearts out of your love of her. Thank you so much.


    True love is rare. And it’s too beautiful to describe. Many people never get to experience it.

    You are blessed. So blessed.

    I do not know how rare true love is. It is present in any solid long-term marriage. It has to be, or the marriage would not endure. I saw it in my parents and in-laws marriages, and in those of my friends who have been together for 20 or more years. 

    True love does not necessarily run smoothly. Janet and I had our fights and disagreements. Yet when one of us needed it, the other one always had the other’s back.

    Look at your own marriage, Dr. Bastiat. You have three wonderful girls as I recall. You don’t get three great kids randomly.  That’s the product of a solid marriage where husband and wife are a team – and love each other deeply.

    Yes, I was blessed. But many of the others on this board are equally blessed.  For those of you who are married, take the time to appreciate that. Those of us that have lost spouses are grateful for what we had. Those of you who still have them? Please take some time be grateful for what you still have. 

    • #8
  9. cdor Member

    @seawriter, thank you for such a wonderful, thoughtful, and truly love=filled comment on the life you shared with your wife…and continue sharing with your children. It brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

    • #9
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