We all know, I suppose, that grief comes at us in unpredictable ways. I’ve certainly felt much sadness since my unexpected departure from St Stephen’s House — partly from giving up the work that I had expected to continue indefinitely, partly since this means I may need to leave the home I’ve grown into (Margaret and I have lived in Oxford longer together than we have lived anyplace else), partly because departure always tastes a little like death for those who know the flavour.
This morning, fresh from a lovely visit with Si and Laura and the Greatest Grandson in the World (and the impending Greatest Granddaughter) and waking up in Nate and Laura’s home, grief has hit me especially hard as it arrives riding in on the underside of our joy and thanksgiving for our spectacular family. (And we know to anticipate the same with Pippa — just aren’t there yet.) How can a man such as I not wake up every morning thrilled and broken by the tremendous weight of gratitude for all the blessings he’s been afforded?
And there are, no doubt, further blessings to come; I hope to feel such genuine grief at true losses as does not blind me to my immense privileges and opportunities, nor hinders my determination to share blessings with whomever I can, in order, so doing, to know true thanksgiving.