I think funky math is also what so many people do when they try to cheer us up: "look - he might be gone, but the sky is pretty," "look - other people love you," "look - your life can be even better than before," "look - here is some delicious sweet thing, aren't you glad you are still alive to taste this?!" "look - you get to learn things most of us don't understand." Look - look at all these little things you have in exchange for what you had. The equation does not balance out, no matter how bad my math skills may be. Nothing will ever make up for this, nothing will ever make the scales balance right again. The best life in the world will not be a fair exchange. You can't compare things that way and come out anything other than angry. Well, I can't.
I keep thinking about what michele wrote a couple of weeks ago on Widow's Voice -
I don't think of the differing ways I have filled in this loaded sentence to be a balance sheet. There is no way to measure out in even amounts what I lost and what I have gained. I didn't have a choice about my life circumstance. All I can do is make the most of what lies ahead, in honor of the potential that exists with each day that I draw breath. ... Not in exchange, but in addition.
That last line has helped me so much. Nothing that happens in this life, however long it is, will ever be greater than (>) my life before; my life before will not be less than (<). Nothing will ever make things equal (=). Nothing will subtract (-) from how awesome our life was. I don't know that there is or is not an absolute zero, because my math skills don't extend that far. But there is nothing to make this a fair exchange.
Everything that happens now simply sits beside me. Everything from that day on is and. Everything is in addition.