Making Room for Grief, the Uninvited Guest



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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5 thoughts on “Making Room for Grief, the Uninvited Guest”

  1. i have never cried after the loss of my wife and people say i cant of been in love. but i miss her more now two years on then ever. i cant explain why i have never cried and it worries me.

    1. When my son died I did not cry I watched everyone around me cry. I was in shock and became very numb. I am still numb to love but I did shortly after start crying. I have no answer I just wanted to share that with you maybe it will help or at least give you someone else’s story.

  2. Hi everyone… new to the grief in common – Lost my precious Danielle Marie 24 years young in an auto accident – Spiritual Bolt of Sunshine = Pre K Teacher trying to connect with others who have lost their only child

  3. Bittersweet—the word resonates with my feelings as I go through old documents and papers. Finding our first mortgage—remembering our giddiness and happiness at owning our first home. Finding the plans for our pond, a mainstay of our lives and pleasure. Old letters, cards. It’s all there our life together. Our dreams and goals. Thank you for this thoughtful article

  4. Lost both of my parents 7 weeks apart a little over a year ago. I still cannot make room for grief. I want it gone, out of my life. I have cried and cried and cried. I am an ‘adult orphan’ now. Who am I to talk to? I used to talk to my father multiple times a day. (we were caregivers for my mother) Throughout my life my daddy was my best friend. Here I am almost 55 and feel like a little girl lost, roaming the streets looking in every door for my father. I have very vivid dreams where we are sometimes sitting outside talking and in some he is dying over and over again. In this dream I cannot get help for him. Yes, I have wished away grief. But, as this article states it is needy and persistent. Grief will sneak up on me when I think I am having a good day. All of a sudden BOOM, here it is~ making me cry and be hateful to those I love. Thank you for this article. I will try and put it to good use.

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