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RCraigen

Joined: Jul. 26, 2013

Bio:

Mathematics professor and evangelical Christian, currently member at a Mennonite Brethren congregation.


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Re: An artist’s approach to beauty

Jul. 26 at 12:17pm | see this comment in context

How could I do such a thing to her favourite vase?  The water leaked out and I put it aside.  I could not bring myself to throw it out, though it is garbage now.  I still keep it on a shelf.  My daughter thinks I'm nuts.  Somehow it embodies part of my shattered feeling, that of losing something dear, of residual beauty and a scar that cannot be healed.

One more thought:  I understand what you mean about disliking the words "til death do us part".  But I'd like you to think about it differently now.  Perhaps it's an insight I gained through the "slow loss" form of grief.  Losing a spouse in the way I did affords a certain privilege I do not take for granted:  My wife and I went through the worst of the grief togather.  We talked about our vow, and kept our bond alive to her dying breath, and it loomed ever more significant.

In the end she breathed her last, and in my darkest hour I had this sustaining thought:  We fulfilled our vow.  And so did you and your husband.  Hold on to that.  You've done well.

Re: An artist’s approach to beauty

Jul. 26 at 12:09pm | see this comment in context

Hi Ann.  I came here on Katie's recommendation over at Ricochet.  Your work is very captivating to me.  I lost my wife of 26 years to cancer in 2010, so we're both about "3 years into" the grief.  I remember talking to a widow at our church whose husband was lost suddenly, as in your case.  There's a qualitative difference in the two initially, and I notice that everyone finds their own way to cope, but grief is grief and can't be measured.  It has surprising, even frightening, depths.  I ponder my own mortality very often, and go for long walks to "converse" with my wife, by which I mean I interact with my memories of her, and consider what she would say about things in my life now.  I try to keep her memory and values alive in what remains of our family.

After she died I kept flowers on the table, at first from those people gave us, and then our own.  Karen loved simplicity and her favourite vase was a small, simple glass cylinder.  Unfortunately it was flimsy and I gripped it too firmly once, sending a long crack from top to bottom.

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