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Thursday, March 22, 2007

OVER THE NEXT HILL

A little more than a year ago, I told my grief counselor that I figured I'd be feeling better by Spring 2007. His eyebrows went up and he laughed. "You journalists really live by your deadlines," he kidded me. Then he asked me to explain my reasoning.

I figured it like this: The first year is a wash. Brutal, horrible, merciless, unrelenting. You just have to somehow get through it.

In the second year, you're reliving the horrors of the first year. But after that second Christmas, that second miserable winter, I figured by then, at least I would finally start getting used to it. As the world around me wakes up -- as the birds sing and the trees flower and the air warms -- I'd be in a better position to appreciate it all.

Of course, this was a very optimistic projection. The sound of the first chirping bird, which happened just the other morning, made me bawl my eyes out, because Kathy loved that sound so much.

Stop me if you've heard this one: Have I yet shared my theory I call "Over the Next Hill"?

That's the title of a wonderful album and song by Fairport Convention. The full lyric goes: "Over the next hill, maybe there's good weather." The lyric -- or, at least, my interpretation of it -- is about how we get through life by telling ourselves these little lies. Like, life will be perfect when (1) I finally get my driver's license, or (2) I finally graduate, or (3) I finally get married, or (4) I finally buy a house, or (5) my kids finally get married, or whatever it is.

But life never gets perfect.

So my prediction about feeling better in Spring 2007, which arrived at 8:07 p.m. on Tuesday, was another case of "Over the Next Hill." I probably knew it at the time. I'm good at fooling myself. And anyone who thinks they aren't is GREAT at it.

9 Comments:

Blogger Larry Grogan said...

"I'm good at fooling myself. And anyone who thinks they aren't is GREAT at it."

That is DEEP brother. Keep on keeping on.

7:31 PM, March 23, 2007  
Blogger Mark Voger said...

Thank you, brother.

8:34 PM, March 26, 2007  
Blogger margaret said...

No timeline on grief...no way to say one day, it's over, I'm done, and I'm fine. I so wish there was.

Later in my grief, I thought that by letting go of him, I was in some way betraying him...I know now it's not true. He will always be my Dad. No one will take his place. But there other kind men who, when I'm in their presence, they remind me of aspects of him, and I am humbled and honored by that glimmer of familiarity.

8:24 AM, March 27, 2007  
Blogger Mark Voger said...

Thank you, Margaret. I can relate -- my dad is my hero.

10:43 PM, March 28, 2007  
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