Grief, that old chestnut

Grief is a banshee. It can churn your insides, leaving you whirling with emotion, but make it impossible for you to move, shower or eat. It whips you like a car antenna, raw and whimpering. It leaks out of you slowly, at inopportune moments. It appears to have no plan, except to level you flat and keep you there.

My grief left me numb, but functioning in a simmering state of rage. It took its toll in silent, insidious ways. Rapid, permanent hair loss. An auto-immune disease. Aches & pains in my joints which turned me into a cantankerous crone. And even when I dealt with the underlying issues, talked my way through therapy, and felt resolved, grief is that distant cousin, always waiting to pay a visit.

Does enduring grief really leave you stronger? Do those scars criss-crossed across my life make my soul more resilient, or more likely to rend? I’ve watched my friend battle with her child’s autism diagnosis, grieving for a childhood lost, but loving fiercely and fighting to get them help. She dances the same line I’ve danced between despair and anger and love and hope and such spine-bending sadness. In the dark moments, she comes over to my house, melts into a chair and says, “I just have to be here.”

And I let her sit, knowing that she is letting the pain wash over her, breathing in to it, letting it re-inflate her like a bouncy castle, to withstand the shocks that are sure to come her way once she gets up & goes home, to fight another day.

“I like to keep my issues drawn, it’s always darkest before the dawn.” 

― Florence Welch 

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