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Today marks the third anniversary of my mother's passing. I wrote this piece long ago but didn't post it to my blog. I suppose there was some part of me that worried about being too morose. Too sad. Too melancholy. Now, with three years hindsight, I suppose I know better. With time, the sharpness of grief softens. It doesn't stab at you, or ambush you, or even keep you up at night. But it does not pass. Here's the piece. Fine “I’m fine,” I’d say. Over and over, again and again. They would ask and I would answer. A pat on the back, figurative or literal. And then the sympathy, well intended but unwanted. “How are you, Kathleen? I know you and your mother were so close.” I’d watch their heads, their mouths. Were they shaking their heads or nodding? Smiling or frowning? Later, I’d see it as a sad sort of smile. The kind we use when something inevitable happens, despite our damnedest efforts. Most of them knew I’d gone straight back to school after Mom

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