Slices of Life: Grief - episode 22,239

Grief doesn’t end because love doesn’t end. As long as I love my husband, I will grieve.

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler

Grief teaches me new lessons every day.

I think my big take-away is that not all products are cruelty-free. Call me innocent, but I thought we were way beyond that. Sigh.

I think writing about them is important, because grief is a topic may of us shy away from. It’s uncomfortable. It’s beyond that. It’s terrifying.

Because here’s the truth that none of us wants to hear: If you love someone, there is very huge chance one of you will grieve the other at some point. Love culminates in grief. We pretend this isn’t true, but there is no dodging the bullet. Grief is a sniper. And that sniper got me.

But, if my experience and insight can help one person, then my words on this page are not in vain. I don’t think any of us wants to live a life without purpose — a life “in vain,” if you will.

So I continue sharing when I think I’ve learned something new. Sometimes I have what I call a eureka day. Today I believe that happened.


First I want to point out the obvious. Grief is exceedingly personal. My grief isn’t yours and vice versa. When I talk about my most recent grief, I’m referring to the loss of my husband — not my mom, not my dad, aunts, uncles or friends.

Any loss is difficult, but when you lose a spouse you lose your life as it was. You lose the person you eat meals with, share “the look” with, share memories with, vacation with, have a history with, sleep next to and and are intimate with. You lose the person who was your past, present and future. You lose the we and become the me.

In an instant your entire life changes.

I met my friend, Alice, today. She is 98 years young and I’m so glad to know her.

I’ve learned that many people are waiting for me to get over my grief. I waited for that as well — like grief was something that would eventually peter out on its own. I now know that isn’t possible. Grief doesn’t end because love doesn’t end. As long as I love my husband, I will grieve.

Not only that, but it is always with me. Always. I can laugh and smile and have fun, but grief is still there. My friends and family may not be aware of it (and I hope they aren’t) but grief is a constant companion.

When you lose someone who is your someone it is devastating. I used to describe grief as devastating because I was devastated, or I thought so. I don’t describe myself as devastated anymore.

Devastating indicates obliteration. At first I felt obliterated. But I climbed out from the rubble and found, quite surprisingly, I was intact and alive. But still grieving. Holy hell.

It was then that I realized I would still live, but I would always grieve. At the end of the sentence, grief isn’t so much devastating or obliterating as it is enduring and permanent.


Grief is a survivor. But you know what?

So am I.

I am still here — breathing, living and even laughing on occasion. Grief is here as well and it isn’t going to leave — not ever. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but even if I have to choke it down, I’ll get through it.

Because I am a survivor. I am a survivor. I am a survivor.

Yes, I am.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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