My mother died in 2004 from an excruciatingly rapid progression of Lou Gehrig's disease (symptoms began to manifest in the Spring of 2003; her death occurred in January). It's been six years. The grief isn't fresh, and it's not even near, but it's still accessible. Accessibility is in grief's nature. If new grief is the laceration spouting blood, then old grief is the long, itchy scar that sometimes flares. And there are as many things that can palliate it as can enflame it.