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“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.Published in