No one asked you here, Grief. Things were just fine without you. In fact, I had hoped that we’d never have to meet.
And now you’re everywhere.
You’re persistent and needy. Tenacious and tough. Above all you are diabolically patient, and you won’t be ignored.
I know that I’ve tried. I kept busy. I smiled when I didn’t want to. I swallowed tears and somehow got out of bed and got dressed every day. Well, almost every day.
What’s so strange is sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who can see you. The people around me – my friends, family, coworkers – it’s like they don’t even know you’re there.
Maybe that’s what’s so isolating and lonely about this. To be shadowed by such an invisible burden. To be feeling strangled by you, Grief, as those around me stand by and smile as if nothing has changed.
I have wished you away. I have closed my eyes, covered my ears, and held my breath in the hopes that I could shut you out. I have spent endless nights in restless sleep, hoping that I would awaken to find you were nothing more than a bad dream.
But I’m learning.
I’m learning to pay attention. To appease you. To be patient and make room for you and realize that in some way or another, you’ll always be around.
While I hope your presence can quiet some and I may find a way to resume some semblance of a life without you inserting yourself into every single moment of it, I know that I need to keep space for you.
I have come to recognize that I am capable of a bittersweet life – where the happy will still be tinged with sadness. Where peace may still be edged with longing.
I will make space for you Grief, and I know that once I do, contentment, peace, and perhaps even joy, will find their way back in too.
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