Vida Vivid

June 2015 019I recently returned from a daughter’s commencement, which took place in a sea of vivid orange, rendered all the more retina-searingly indelible by juxtaposition with black. Flora conspired in the effect, fireworks of stamen and pistil bursting from coral blooms.

My little tiger.

The campus I rarely visit is the place I met my husband, and the memories at each turn are as sharply etched as the line between orange and black.

He did not live to see our daughter there; to know she would join his undergraduate department and spend a summer diving in emerald seas and studying with his thesis adviser; to watch her graduate with accolades her parents did not approach.

A newly-widowed wife wrote recently of her assurance that she will never feel pure joy again.  This caused me to pause a beat before agreeing.  Even a joyful event like a child’s graduation–and there now have been five such high school and college milestones without my children’s father–is tempered by and freighted with the absence.

What is not there can be as vivid as what one can see.

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

8 thoughts on “Vida Vivid”

  1. exactly. that stuck out to me too. And the saddest thing in reading that was that after only 30 days without him she has no idea what that statement means….the days, week, years to come of no pure joy.
    breaks my heart

    1. That was my thought as well: at thirty days, it is impossible to know the vastness of the missing. It may be a good thing that no one could have warned me that in many ways it gets worse with time, and I imagine that’s especially true with a shockingly sudden death.

      1. I lead grief groups and constantly, as we head into the second year after their person died, we hear “how come year 2 is worse?”….I’m glad I didn’t know either. “vastness of the missing”…yes, exactly that.

  2. What is ‘pure’ joy? Unmitigated joy? Joy that never has the depth of sadness in its composition? I would propose that joy is still joyful, still meaningful (and perhaps more so) with the flavor of sadness around its edges. I’ve been a widow for 7 years now; seen two graduations, a wedding and two engagements without my Jim. Maybe ‘purity’ is over-rated. I’m becoming less of an all-or-nothing, black-or-white kind of person. Accepting life in its complexity has been a rewarding journey for me, full of ‘my kind’ of joy!

  3. You certainly hit ‘vivid’ with this post. Congrats to your talented daughter. Life is complex – joy, loss, happiness, sadness. Physical loss or emotional loss, I guess we all deal with life’s journey the best we can hour by hour and day by day. 🙂

  4. Wonderful images but I think joy is a fleeting thing for most of us. The feeling of loss will never disappear but there really will be moments of absolute joy to come. Loss never completely heals and, even decades later, can be searing momentarily but every joyful moment should be grabbed and cherished even if, at times, it feels bitter sweet.

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