But death is temporary. Really, people just move on before us but they can't tell us what's there. I strangely float between jealousy and mourning. But mostly, I think, grief is having to let go. All those expectations and hopes vanish. The empty places where they might still have been, make the memories of when they were there painful. It's missing out on the story.
There are many levels of grief. Closing a casket on a loved one is a deep grief I've yet to fully endure. Closing a book after spending weeks with fictional characters is a shallow grief. It's just practice. Walking out of a theatre after intense emotional connection to actors is also a small grief and shallower still. More practice. We take the memories from entertainment with us and pull them out of our back pocket brains as long as they'll hold together. But the memories of real people who knew us and loved us in return, this get engrained.
But what's gone is gone here. Time passes and grass grows over graves. Bodies that were once warm and full of magnificent life are empty and cold, becoming part of the ground around them. It's so wrong. Hands that once gave loving touches become crooked like roots. Bones that no longer move with the grace of a dancer crumble like white clods of earth. The person is long gone from it. They've only left their pieces and headstone behind as a memory of who once dwelt here with us.
There's so much that I don't know about grief. But as I learn in small ways and am prepared for the agony of loss I can remember the greatness we were created for. Death is the ultimate evidence that we need God. It's the flaming sword that keeps us from the Tree of Life. The only way to Him is through the fire. The only way to survive the fire is by going in with Jesus.