Archive | November, 2022

Grief

18 Nov

Grief is an odd thing, we will all at some point experience it and yet, no two people will go through it the same way.

Some crush it down refusing to acknowledge it is there. Others become so wrapped up in it they never function the same way again. Most I think muddle through, alternating between days where they can fake things well enough to appear to be ok and other days they drown under the waves of emotion that bombard them, until they find a new normal. A slightly calmer ebb and flow of grief, one they can handle while still functioning in society. An odd tear at a random moment, a brief hitch of breath when a stab of pain finds their heart, but those come farther and farther apart until you can almost pretend the pain was never there. It isn’t under the newly formed scar, it isn’t something you’ve learned to live with, you just pretend it’s gone, never was, and that all is fine again.

Grief isn’t a bump we trip over while going through life, it’s a hole we fall into and have to crawl our way out of. Grief is a tsunami crashing over us that if we don’t hold our breath well enough, and swim strongly enough, we’ll never escape.

Grief comes to us because we have experienced a loss so painful we can’t brush it off, can’t look the other way, can’t eat a bit of ice cream and move on. It comes to us when our heart breaks, when our soul feels ripped in two, when the world no longer makes sense and we are left scrambling to find our footing.

Maybe at first you don’t try to find your footing maybe you let yourself stay afloat, unmoored, not tethered to anything, because the pain is so overwhelming you don’t even know how to reach out to someone so they can help anchor you.

When your feet finally find the ground again the pain doesn’t go away, it intensifies because now you’re forced to feel it all. There is no buffer, no cloudy mind to help hide the truth of what has happened. Now it’s just you and the pain facing off.

Does the pain win? Do you win? Can there be a winner or just a vague truce made between the two?

Eventually, if you live long enough and if you’ve let yourself become close enough to others that you feel love, you will feel grief. There’s a quote, something about the more you hurt the stronger you loved. I don’t know if that sentiment is right, but I do know that right now my heart is destroyed, I am broken, the pain of loss has beat me and I don’t care if I ever come back from it because I don’t want a world where this person who is vital for my happiness isn’t here. But that isn’t how life works. We lose people, it’s inevitable, and the world keeps going on about its business while those like me are left stumbling, off rhythm from everyone else, because they are no longer whole and don’t care enough to try to fake being ok.

Grief is an equalizer, a painful one. By choosing to love we voluntarily sign ourselves up to one day feel this way. A poor bargain is it not? Is the love once felt worth the pain that takes it’s place?

The person I lost, the reason I am drowning right now, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t had them in my life. Their impact on who I became was huge, and the memories I have of them so dear to me I will fight with everything I have to preserve them. I cling to one of their cardigans, I ordered their favourite meal at a restaurant, I’m eating their ice cream, all to try to bring them back to me, to feel them close just for one more second. It’s a stupid game I play, one that will only hurt me in the end because they aren’t coming back and trying to cling to them just makes the pain last longer, cut deeper, overwhelm me even more.

The value I place on every photograph of them, every item they once used or touched, is so high I would make rash decisions and poor choices to keep all these items just as they are. I can’t make their entire house a shrine, and I shouldn’t try, but every time something changes I hurt a bit more because that is a change they won’t see, an update they won’t know about. It is proof life is going on without them and right now, with the pain so strong, I don’t understand how that is possible.

He is dead, and I am lost, but I guess the pain is the price of such a strong love and since I don’t want to know what a life without that love would have been like, who I would have been without it, grief is the price I must pay.

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