Some say grief is the final act of love. I’ve heard others characterize it as “love with nowhere to go.” I’ve understood – and experienced – grief in both ways. I overstand now that grief is proof of life. Proof that love once lived and remains after a transition has taken place. You might not be able to actualize the love in the same way, express it in the same manner, or show it through the same gestures – but it’s there.

The ability to illustrate it with written words, painted pictures, and spoken word may get murky. The opportunity to show and profess it may have passed. The ability to touch, embrace, and kiss may prove impossible. The longing and yearning might keep you up at night. The “what-if’s” and “could-be’s” might drive you crazy. Nostalgia and fond memories may bring you to tears. Loss everlasting can bring you to your knees. But love lives.

I used to think grief was reserved for physical death. That type of grief can be particularly strong because it often lacks resolution. The finite nature of death can make the grief feel infinite. I can attest to that. But as I realized on New Year’s Day, “there are all kinds of deaths…different losses to mourn…and [therefore] different forms of grief.” Grief over a fallen friendship or a loss lover can sting just as bad and sink a heart just as low.

Julius Robert von Mayer. The Law of Conservation of Energy. “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.” Love in energy. So, this law applies. And grief is the proof. Proof that love lived. And continues to live. Even if we lose someone and the love transforms into something intangible or seemingly distant, it is still there. If it ever truly was, it will always be.

We may not be able to experience it traditionally. We may not be able to actualize it according to our preferences, desires, ideals and notions. But love is there. Radiating outward, across planes. Transcending space and time; piercing through hurts, wrongs, and slights like sunbeams through deep gray clouds. Ever present. Feel it.

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