There is no mask for grief.
In one day, the razor edge of it’s five stages will bleed you. Stealing health and security, grief rips through happy plans until we radiate with intense agony masquerading as anger.
Grief exposes everything, including the fearful in our midst (silver lining). It will terrify all who spin under the weight of society’s insistence that we “just be happy”. Such transparent expectations cause certain intimates to dash through the nearest exit when grief begins the next banshee wail. An impotent way to avoid their own sense of loss, but understandable.
“I love you but I can’t join you. Not in this level of darkness.”
This is a secret and pivate journey, so I can’t take you with me. If I choose to face this fear exposed, it may devour me. In the pitch black I listen for the sounds of children playing or the crackling glow of a new dawn.
Though our collective suffering is palpable, our souls cannot be crushed, and though this crumpled note is as unpleasant as an alarm with no snooze, there is one more thing:
The final step in grief is the wisdom of gratitude. My once brittle haunting has been replaced by untethered joy and wild revelation. This ease comes not from untested privilege or willful ignorance, but from losses that have been carved into my spine with unmercifully blunt objects. The grief may re-emerge, but this time I’ll know to greet it at the door, before the menacing shadow gallops carelessly into my relationship corner.
What gets destroyed is what we no longer need. Let this knowing to be a salve for your wounds.
The looped images preying on your sanity:
The crash, murder weapons unloading into flesh, the last breath, a scream no one can hear, that final awful word, the unanswered cry for help… these things will break your spirit if you pretend they don’t exist.
Around every corner such monsterous loss lingers, until we are brave enough to face it unarmed. Like that ex demanding closure, it’s easier to allow than block and will continue to show up at inconvenient times if we choose to distract or wish it away.
Have faith. This does does not refer only to the Christian version of faith, though Psalms from the Good Book is a timeless reminder of trusting the process.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil…”
Rebirth is next in nature’s cycle. There is nothing we can do to halt seasonal tirades of creation or destruction.
My desperate avoidance of my most authentic dismantling and rearranging always leads me back to the beginning of the ordeal, intensifying suffering for all involved. I had no choice but to enter grief’s void.
Remember that even our golden sister Persephone did a stint in The Underworld. Love yourself in your grief and joy, equally. I’ll be waiting quietly wherever you emerge, in your technicolor glory, human.