Life continued, as life continues, and time passed, as time passes, and after a little more than two months: do you hear that? I asked her on one of the rare mornings we sat at the table together. Hear it? I put down my coffee and rose from my chair. You hear that thing?
What thing? She asked.
Exactly! I said, running outside to pump my fist at the waterfall. Exactly!
We danced, throwing handfuls of water in the air, hearing nothing at all. we alternated hugs of forgiveness and shouts of human triumph at the water. Who wins the day? Who wins the day, waterfall? We do! We do!
And this is what living next to a waterfall is like, Safran. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great great great grandchildren’s will be. But we learnt to live in that love.
(from Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer)
And not what loves you back
That’s why I’m here on your doorstep
Pleading for you to take me back” —Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins