There is No Explaining Grief
I won't even try.
I Googled ‘Grief Quotes’ just now. I thought, in place of writing something, I could get away with simply quoting those platitudes people often turn into lovely memes meant to soothe a broken soul or give hope to sorrow.
I didn’t even look.
It isn’t that I’m a stranger to grief. I’ve lived a long life; long enough to have lost almost everyone I’ve cared about in my own generation and the ones before me. I can count on one hand those people left in my life who are my age or close to it.
The two of us survived almost all of them. Did I think we would go on forever, only to die in each other’s arms? I hoped. Still, I had a horror of going before him, knowing how utterly lost he would be without me. I didn’t have to imagine it; he said it—over and over again. He was five years older and, while he was uncommonly healthy most of his life, this last year took its toll. I think we both knew it could be his last.
And now he’s gone and I’m the one who’s lost.
Grief, I know now, is an injury. It requires time to heal. It was pure foolishness to think I could get back to normal in a matter of weeks after my life had changed so cruelly, so abruptly.
But one thing I know: Being in the throes of grief is not a subject for my writing. I wouldn’t even know what to say. None of it makes sense, and it changes, moment to moment. There are no words of wisdom, no balm for the pain grief brings.
Just as our lives are different, so is our grief. I had to be prepared for the platitudes, knowing how hard it is to get past them when something like death happens. Those who care about us want us to know they’re there, ready when we are, yet they’re feeling just as helpless. They mean well and I have to love them for that.
But how do we get through this? Each in our own way. I’m going to take it as it comes. When I feel like writing, I’ll write. It won’t be on demand. It won’t be on schedule. It could be tomorrow or next week or next month, but whenever it happens, I hope it makes sense. I hope I can remember who I was before this happened and give myself space. I hope I never forget what I had.
Until then, my friends, I haven’t forgotten you. You’re on my mind and I wanted you to know that. We still have much to talk about.
(Cross-posted at Writer Everlasting)
Constant Commoner is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.