In a letter following the death from scarlet fever of his beloved five-year-old son, American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “I chiefly grieve that I cannot grieve.” Later, in an essay, this: “The only thing grief has taught me, is how shallow it is.”
The hallmark of the human is his desire for continuousness. And his performative grief when that balloon pops.
For people who love companion animals and mourn their passing, there are animal chaplains. Not that animals are religious, rather to acknowledge a growing and graced awareness that they too are spiritual beings.
The end of grief is this instant.
We are mostly untutored in the essentials—death, loss, temporality and diminishment. Grief is ego’s response to an existential fact: “Everything passes / Everything changes.” It’s an unwillingness to let go of what’s gone.