Grief. It’s such a tricky thing.
At first there’s so much and it’s so heavy it feels like you might drown. It fills you up completely until it feels like there is nothing to you but grief. Every breath you draw hurts. You feel like you float through each day, existing in your world but not truly a part of it.
With time you assume it will continue to lessen until it disappears altogether.
And there is some truth to that. Only it’s not so much gone, as your horizons have broadened and grown. You’ve grown to include more space in yourself. The grief is still there inside of you with all of its broken and jagged edges. It just has more space to move around. And you don’t always feel it.
Until those moments when it comes slamming up against your heart. A word, a memory, a smell… and then you’re right back to being overwhelmed by it. You think that time should have dulled the pain, but the tears well back up and you clutch your chest to hold yourself together fearing you might splinter into a million pieces.
That space you’ve grown to hold the grief alongside all the living you’ve done since your loss is still there. That ball of grief has room to move now and won’t stay as heavy and as strong in that one spot. So you will cry. You will feel all of that pain as if it just happened. You will go back and look at pictures, watch videos, and smile and cry through the memories. Because there was so much joy and then there was so much awful. But it was real. It happened. And there is no going back to the before.
Because that broken and jagged ball of grief has a secret. If you look more closely you’ll see. Under all of those sharp edges is love. It’s all the love you have for that person with nowhere to go. You keep it inside you because that love you feel will never go away. It’s a part of you forever.