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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JOAN WICKERSHAM

Grief doesn’t have a timeline

Recently at a cocktail party, I met a woman whose husband had died about four years ago. She mentioned him a lot. Not monologues, but frequent references to him — things he’d said, jokes he’d made, his foibles, his likes and dislikes. Some of it was in the past tense and some in the present. Theirs had been a long marriage — over 30 years — and clearly it was still going on.

Here’s another story. A woman I know, also happily married for many decades, was devastated by her husband’s death from cancer. A year later, though still missing her husband, she was surprised to find herself falling deeply in love with an old family friend.

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