“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

My brother Dan

I saw someone that looks like my brother today. It always stops me in my tracks. Always. It makes my heart beat faster. I start having crazy thoughts.


He was hunched over at the liquor store doing some stocking. He had the same color wispy greasy hair. A spotty beard that wasn’t quite filled in. A nose to big for his face. He looked up at me, undoubtably because he could feel me staring at him.

Sure enough his eyes were blue. Not the same beautiful blue, but blue enough to make me avert my own eyes and awkwardly fumble with my wallet.


I watched him walk away, bought my wine, and ran out. I jumped into the van and sighed.  I tell my husband. He says “Imagine that?” And then he didn’t finish his thought.


Whether he thought better of it or whether one of the kids interrupted I don’t know. I was barely able to hear anything besides my heart pounding in my ears. But he was right not to venture down that thought rabbit hole with me. It never ends well.


He’s gone. And you’d think that 18 years later it wouldn’t pain my heart so much in moments like that. But it does, and it always will.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” ~Queen Elizabeth.


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  1. I love that quote. I feel like it’s always the smallest things – a chance encounter like yours, a smell, a song, and all of a sudden you are right back in the middle of it all. In the middle of the memories and also the grief.

    • ViolaCay /

      Yep, right back in the middle. Grief is really an amazingly powerful emotion. The triggers can be minuscule and then the feelings are gigantic.

  2. Oh Sharon…sending a big hug to you! I feel your pain. I’ve had similar experiences thinking I see women who look like my mom. You know it’s not them, but you just want to reach out and hug them all the same, thinking some part of them is in there. As difficult/strangely reassuring as those experiences can be, I can’t help but think (as another famous Brit, Lord Alfred Tennyson, once wrote): “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” xo

    • ViolaCay /

      Imagine if I tried to hug him? That’s a whole other level of crazy! :-)

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