Indulgence

Since the death of my pal Nick back in October (See “For Nick,” 19 October ’09) I’ve been struggling to describe my feelings in any meaningful way. I know what I feel but can’t put it into words. So, when I came across this little gem while reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I thought it worth sharing with you; so great was its power to elucidate my own feelings.

“The time at length arrives when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity…” (p. 45, Penguin Books, 2003 reprint).

That is to say, the pain is still there, the scar remains, but one is no longer bound by it; no longer subject to its whims and to its power over our emotion. It becomes instead a well of deep feeling from which one can draw sympathy for the trials of life, either one’s own or those of another.

It has become a good.

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