05/10/2014 10:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Grief Is Not Linear

That's how a friend who lost her husband explained it. She said she could be anywhere - the bank, the store or the post office - and she could hear something that would take her aback to the initial loss and leave her raw.

When another friend, who also lost her husband, explained it the exact same way, I thought they should meet.

When we got together for a drink, I sat there listening to their story, hearing the same ache. They said they made a life with someone , entwining deep roots only to have them uprooted, leaving them with half a life. And the holidays can make them feel even more uprooted.

Listening to these women made me realize, hard as we try, sometimes we just don't really know someone's life. It made me wonder how often we find ourselves on the outside of someone's struggle, looking in.

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