A thing about grief
When you’re grief stricken, sometimes all you’re able to do is lay or curl up into a ball. You’re nothing but a soft lump of warm flesh externally and internally you’re slowly dying and coming back to life.
You lie there thinking about somethings and nothings simultaneously and you know you’ll see this pain through and that eventually you’ll heal but you’re still in a ton of pain, too.
You’re constantly uncomfortable. Perhaps you won’t shed any tears but your soul won’t stop crying. Every so often you hear it wail when you’re in a quiet room and you wonder if anyone else heard it too, or whether they can smell the brokenness coming from you.
When you wake in the morning, it’s possible to ask why you have because as you were falling asleep the night before, you imagined being asleep forever. There’s no pain when we sleep. Weekends are heavenly because you can run to the loo and throw yourself back under the covers and hide from everything that you’re afraid of, and finally sleep again.
Sleep, however, doesn’t always help us. The nightmares consume us. Like characters in a movie, we’re swinging swords and hammers at our fears or killing those who hurt us. Sometimes they’re apologising and attempting to reconcile. Other times, you hear their laughter or you feel your little baby grow in your womb or you have one last conversation with your grandmother. And even though you try your hardest to shut your eyes in order to fall asleep, you can’t. You need to feel your baby kick or you want to dance with your grandmother one last time but it’s just not possible.
They disappear, but not always in death. Sometimes the dearly departed are alive and kicking somewhere. A man will leave his children and a woman will leave her lover except neither has left the earth. In fact, many who leave wander like phantoms before they settle and start again with other people — people who will probably only be drowned by the wave of wet misery that pulled you from pillar to post once the departed dies. And although the situation might be different, their grief is legitimate too.
How long grief lasts for each of us is varied. It’ll pierce you, like a butcher’s cleaver giving birth to a machete. It’s an incomparable suffering; one that is inevitable and perhaps its inevitability is a comforting tragedy. I can’t really tell you whether you’ll heal completely because I’m not there yet.
You’re going to want to be invisible and you’ll yearn to leave without a trace just so you won’t have to move forward. Your friends will pull you out for some lunch or your parents will insist that you spend time with your family because everyone is driving down this Sunday or your boss expects you to meet your deadline. How? How can you do this when you’ve died inside? You barely remember your name and your speech is incoherent and you’re hollow — but the world still wants you.
You won’t be able to vomit tears or peel off your skin or eat your way into oblivion. You won’t know what to do. The spirits and the drug cocktails only keep the demons at bay for a short while, and once you’ve sobered up you’ll attempt to accept the fact that you’re still alive. Being alive reminds you of who you lost (for a period of time they were alive, too). The will to live won’t be under your bed so you’ll try to step outside in order to search for it in the light and between your self-loathing and rage, someone will express how glad they are that the sun is kissing your skin and that you’ve pulled yourself together. They think you’re resilient. Perhaps you are. Possibly after some time that’s what you’ll be.