Today I'm noticing how sad I feel.
I just read that a blog friend's mother died last Sunday. That on the heels of hearing 2 other people I care about have lost a parent. All lived long, full lives. There will come a day when that clumsy phrase penetrates the grief. For me, news of a parent's death taps into a sore spot in my heart. I feel sad, tired, and, in an odd way, lonely. If it's true bad things come in threes, then the string of deaths must be over. Hopefully I'll have some time to regroup. That's the problem with my grief, like the ocean's tide continually returning to the shore, it keeps coming back. Sometimes in a slow gentle wave, sometimes like a tsunami.
I looked for the root of that axiom on Google, but found very little. I did find, however, that things that come in threes are supposedly funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things. I didn't know this was a "writing principle," but I tend to write this way (see string of adjectives above). It sort of flies in the face of my writing coach's advice to say something once and leave it.
Another blogger who wanted the same information wrote:
"Looking for threes makes it a lot more likely that we’ll notice thing in groups of three."And:
"Things happen one at a time. Whether they are seen as the worst or the best is determined by you alone."*
Things happen. People die. My job is to find the grace in death. To feel gratitude for the time I shared. To savor the memories.
Bad things may come in threes. A series of three adjectives may be funnier than just one. But there is also a Latin phrase "omne trium perfectum" that means everything that comes in threes is perfect, or complete. Here's to hoping this series of death is complete.