With gifts come curses; with credit comes blame; with wins come defeats. They are a package deal, and if you are going to own one, accept one, then you have to own and accept the other. Which means there is no celebration without mourning, and there is no summer without winter, and for some men, for some families, there is too much of both to take in. So they take in none of it, or at least they pretend to take in none of it. They disappear instead into their carefully constructed universes, into the small pockets they might still make as immaculate as miniature golf courses, into their dogged pursuits of the routines and rhythms that blind and deafen them to everything else. They say things like “It could have been worse,” and they refuse every last invitation from pity or sentiment, because those are luxuries not given to households half-emptied by terminal disease. Acceptance is their only way out.

Chris Jones in "A Long Journey to Spring"
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