I've been pondering grief lately, and trying to figure it all out. More specifically, why it occurs.
I understand that grief is the process in which resolution of death occurs, but I'm more interested in the purpose behind why a process is necessary - why can we seemingly not resolve loss without it, and perhaps more importantly, why does it trigger grief?
I can know someone close to me is going to die, but until they do, my grief isn't triggered. I know that I will grieve only after they pass. Why? What has changed? And what is trigged at the act of death which differs from its foreknowledge? This I do not know.
My childhood sweetheart and long-time girlfriend broke up with me once I arrived in Korea for a locked-in, 12-month tour and there was nothing I could do about it. I was devastated, and went through a grieving process despite the fact that she was still alive. And while other friends and family around me have perished since that time, I didn't grieve again at that depth until I lost Daisy.
Daisy was a surprise - I knew she was sick, but I was expecting her to make a full recovery. Recently, in conversations with my clone (who, by definition thinks identically to myself - it really is quite narcissisticly fulfillingly engaging oneself in discussion) I've argued against the unexpectedness of versus the finality of loss. And as my clone (closer in thinking than identical twins) who's experiences differ than my own, I am able to see the future by knowing in advance how I'm going to react to things which haven't occurred in my own life yet. They say no one should know too much about their own future, but I think that's bullshit and in fact have learned that most of what I hear about what one should or should not do usually doesn't apply to me.
Recently, I confided in my father that I was at a time and place in my life where I could spend more time with him, but found myself not doing so, even though I was quite aware I would regret the decision later in life. He nodded in understanding and explained this was life's way of preparing me for death, that spending time in pursuit of my own family has supplanted him and this was how it was supposed to be. While I appreciated his comforting words, it didn't change the fact that I know I will regret not having enjoyed his company to the fullest extent before its too late, nor grieving once he's gone.
Which is what I'd like to avoid.
Knowledge of such a thing in the case of anticipatory loss however, is not a suitable replacement for grief, nor can the trigger for grief be dismantled through logic, and frankly this pisses me off. I'd just as soon not grieve, yet I can't find a way around it. I am after all, despite rumors to the contrary, only human.
But as far as I'm concerned, that's just a crutch, and won't stop me from trying.