Wednesday, June 12

I thought I knew

I thought I knew Grief. I thought I knew it quite well.
I thought I knew Grief came quick and sudden, and always unexpectedly.  Even if you’ve been prepared for days, months, or years, Grief always comes quick, sudden, and unexpectedly.
I thought I knew Grief was haunting.  I thought I remembered that it appeared in the middle of the night, on the car ride to work, in the grocery store aisle, in the bathroom at the mall, staring into the refrigerator, or going on a walk.  I thought I remembered that at any given moment, it would touch you on the shoulder and remind you it is there.
I thought I knew the shapes and forms of Grief.  I thought I recalled how Grief calls its friends—Shock, Disbelief and Denial, Anger, Depression, Sadness, and Numb—to gather around in different moments.  I thought I knew that Grief sat down at the table and let each of them come in different times, waves, and strengths.
I thought that Grief was always the same and that Mourning always looked alike.  This way, I could draw a roadmap, mark the pit stops, and navigate my way through it.  Rather, Grief is always wearing something different and speaking different words; we are all different and the loss of one is never the same as the loss of the other.  There is no navigating or planning here, but I thought I knew Grief.
I thought I knew how to speak to others about Grief.  I thought Grief was such a part of me that I was acquainted, even familiar, with death.  The truth is, death is not familiar to the people He created.  He did not create the world or anything in it for death, so death can never be familiar.  I thought I understood the ‘Circle of Life’ and that ‘Everything must come to an end’.  But I don’t want to be familiar or expectant or death; I just thought I knew Grief.
But Grief stays close for a quite a while.  Grief walks beside you in everything you do because everything you do has changed.  Grief sits down, lies down, wakes up, and breathes right beside you.  So even though you have been introduced to Grief before, Grief will come back looking a little differently.  And Grief will come; Grief is reliable like that.
I thought I knew Grief.  I thought I knew it quite well.

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