We were discussing places and art we have seen. She said that one of the most moving works she had ever seen was the Pieta. She is an experienced and educated woman but she began to tear up from just the memory of the statue in the Vatican by Michelangelo. The statue depicts loss and defeat.
I saw a strong, intelligent woman tear up while simply saying her son had gone off to college. Seeing her do that has helped me grasp the depths of some mothers' love for their sons. It seems to me that, on the surface at least, more fathers are exasperated or unhappy with their sons than are transfixed with delight at the mere thought of the guy.
Sitting with the grief of loss or any other sort of grief seems like a good direction to go. I haven't seen any data or heard any testimony but I suspect that women may be more likely to feel emotions deeply and fully and then let them go a little than men. Men seem more likely to try to escape the pain of loss rather than face it full on.
My love for my son or for anyone else is a sort of abstraction. When the beloved has gone, is no longer available to see or converse with, no further interaction is likely. I may read or re-read writings or view videos of them and thereby taste again the delight and the essence of them. I may feel again the pleasure of them from writings or videos or memories or talk with others who knew them. Maybe I can console myself with the idea that the beloved is only partly gone but is still partly with me and in me.