It has been just over two and a half years since Uzma died. It was twenty years ago today that we promised to be together forever.

Life doesn’t stop when some we love profoundly dies.

Other loved ones’ love needs reciprocating. The constant chorus of bills, work, and chores needs attending. Children’s camps and experiences need planning, arranging, and scheduling. Slowly but surely, life grows around grief.

Grief doesn’t diminish or vanish. It just starts to look smaller compared to the experiences added to our life since the loss. Just as building an addition to the house makes the other rooms a smaller portion of the grown house without shrinking them in reality.

We start taking doing things again for fun. We start taking vacations. And then, out of the blue, something brings the memories flooding in. It could be a visit to a beach we visited together ages ago. Or a walk past a hotel where one stayed in another life. Or a friend’s wife getting admitted to hospice. The kids’ birthdays do it. And so do anniversaries — definitely, the marriage anniversary.

Once the memories overflow the banks of the daily stuff, they take a while to recede. As they recede, we are left longing for another memory-flood.