The Best Kind of Pain

 The Best Kind of Pain • short, sharp & over quickly • from

On the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death, my lover and I sat on the balcony watching lorikeets swoop from tree to tree. I smoked a cigarette.

‘I’m sorry you had to go though that,’ he said.

‘It’s okay,’ I said. ‘In the scheme of things, it was a the best kind of pain.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Like when you’re a kid and you rip off a band aid. The pain is short and sharp, but it’s over quickly.’

It seems to me everyone encounters sad, painful and difficult things in their lives. No one is immune. But some pain is long and lingering.

A parent slowly fading away from dementia.

A cancer that grows again after it’s been cut out.

A child you have loved growing inside you, born blue and cold.

The pain that severed my life into two halves came without warning. I didn’t have time to consider alternative futures, or worry about how I would cope. I came face to face with the angel of death without the option of bargaining my way out.

The band aid was ripped from my skin four years ago. The red angry welt that was left has all but faded.

Now, I can go days, perhaps weeks, without remembering.

And that’s the best kind of pain.


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

6 thoughts on “The Best Kind of Pain

  1. Interesting point. I sat with my ex-husband as he died last year…long and slow process that was challenging. But at least everyone got to say their goodbyes–and in some ways that was good. Death isn’t easy any way you look at it, even when it might be a welcome release.

  2. I always wondered how my husband could remarry so quickly but learned that his wife’s long illness gave him plenty of time to suffer and grieve. He was ready for fresh air.

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