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Grief

Grief

Painted wood, last revision 2004, 30" x 30" x 49".

There are moments in life when what has been irrevocably falls away and we are forced to begin again, forced to redefine, rediscover the very ground on which we walk. No bartering, no planning, no pleading can take back those moments . . . the only option is to grope our way to stable ground . . . one decision at a time.

On February 15, 1992, my father died. The day before we had celebrated my parents' forty-fourth anniversary and their grandson's seventh birthday, and then he was gone. I began Grief two months later and I have struggled with it ever since. After twelve years I gave myself a deadline, I was determined to finish it once and for all. But once again I was left wondering if I ever will be truly finished with Grief, and yet maybe that is as it should be.

For me grief will always be a sound. It is my mother's cry of denial and the raw sobs relayed back through telephone wires that stitch together my memories of that first day without my father. It is the echos in my father's voice that still return to nudge and prod me to move on. And it is a nagging memory that whispers in my head, reminding me that a life lived well, with care, is my tribute and the only means of limiting regrets the next time grief comes knocking at the door.

Janet Geib Pretti

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