Life, Grief, and Entropy

For just a moment yesterday, while I was walking in the desert, all seemed clear to me. Well, all as related to my grief that is. I could see that things happened the way they needed to. My life mate/soul mate and I could not continue the life we’d been living. We were trapped in an untenable situation, not just because of his health and our finances, but because the place we were living was stifling us. There was nowhere to walk except a 600-yard-long road, nothing to do we hadn’t already done a hundred times, nothing to see that we hadn’t seen a thousand times, but we couldn’t leave. He was too sick to survive a move. Besides, he was comfortable where he was.

Those years of entrapment seemed to go on forever, the only changes being a continual worsening of his health, a continual increasing of his pain, and a continual deadening of my senses.

We were living a classic example of entropy. Entropy is a measure of the amount of energy that is unavailable to do work, and it tends to increase in closed systems. In other words, in a closed system, things break down and stop working. Because of his health, we could not do anything to stop the entropy of our lives. We could only endure.

And then one day, he was set free from his pain-wracked body and cancer-ridden brain. And I was set free from the horror of entropy.

It seemed to me, yesterday, that our lives worked out as they should have. That in a terrible way, we both got what we needed.

I felt at peace most of the day, but the feeling didn’t hold. Last night, the thought “But he’s dead!” hit me. And so sorrow descended once more.

I can see, though, that such moments of clarity will increase until I can finally accept that yes, he is dead, but so what? Someday, I will be dead, too. Meantime, I live to battle entropy another day.

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2 Responses to “Life, Grief, and Entropy”

  1. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    We are all battling our own form of entropy. Sometimes the decisions on how to live made long ago stick with us and we have to live with them. I was never much into sport and that has not always been a good thing. I do like to go fishing, however, so there is that to sustain me if anyone asks me about sport.

    Life moves eventually in new directions or you do have entropy but it is hard to leave behind the familiar.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      In writing a story, all the decisions a writer makes creates an ending that seems inevitable, and perhaps life is that way, too, and fate is simply the inevitable result of all our previous decisions. Seems kind of a nihilistic way of looking at things, but only if you let those decisions enclose you. Maybe the secret is to make sure you don’t end up in a closed system.


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