Grief is the love with nowhere to go. It is the Wandering Child without a home, shambling in rags door to door with the empty begging bowl of a harrowed heart.
Grief is the snake eating its own tail; hours turn to days turn to months turn to years until, at last, you are right back at the beginning. The circle begins again. Another year. Another day to remember. Another landmark in the nowhere-place grief leaves you, a dread monolith testament to your loss forever standing.
Grief is the place where time stands still. Here, in the space between living and non-living, there is only ambiguity, helplessness and doubt. It is the half-life grief gifts you. The endless gift that keeps on giving. Happy Birthday. Merry Christmas. With Regards.
Grief is the lightning that tears the oak asunder down to its very roots, and wears down the mountain slowly from within until it crumbles without. Grief is the sigh in the hurricane, and the words left unspoken that melt into the wind until there are none left to say. Only the impassioned breath of the mournful soul lost without that which meant so much to it carried up to the light in a bright cascade, like a waterfall of butterflies on a warm summer breeze. Words have no meaning here; only the heartfelt cry of the soul reaching out in vain for the other. An unending breath that carries both love and pain on its broken wings.
Grief is the bitter tide – flowing outward with gushing sorrow one moment and ebbing with weariness and regret the next. In and out, day in, day out, pulled by the moon that tugs restlessly on the heart like an errant child when small reminders come and go. Names. Dates. Places. Things. A mindless set of numbers and words that mean nothing to the world, but mean a world of small, stinging recollections to you. For it is always the small things that mattered.
Grief is the fathomless ocean and the fear of not knowing how far down it goes. What monsters lurk there; what terrible leviathans have spawned in the darkness while one was weeping?
Grief is the serpent that embraces you, strangles you, suffocates. Grief is the gentle lover that caresses your heavy heart and beckons you fall, to lie down, to give in. To surrender so you feel no more, to give up the ache that is the amputated limb of one lost, the piece of the heart fallen away from view at the moment of separation. For that piece shall never grow back no matter how one wishes it. It is true they do take a piece with you when they go.
Grief is the story half-told. It is like a candle without the light, like the day without a night. Winter without snow. Summer without flowers. It is empty pages, what is incomplete and a tale untold. Grief is the loss of the story that could have been.
Grief is the destroyer and taker of things for one loses all sense of self when one is within its grasp – hope, joy, humour, imagination, passion, the sense of beauty in all things. Grief is grey and lifeless. Grief is black and white.
Grief is a mindless, rampaging bull with all the raw fury of Hell. Grief is a silent, fading flower in an unlit garden corner, unseen and unacknowledged. It is the closing of the day and the drawing in of the night only there are no stars in the sky to guide you tonight. Not today. Not tomorrow.
Grief is ice and fire. Up and down. Inertia and the damnable cacophony of thoughts, emotions and feelings like a mad, out-of-control calliope. It is the carousel of cares that one cannot alight from. It is the clown that makes you laugh and cry. Nothing makes sense here in this upside-down world.
Grief is being what you vowed you would never be and despising what you have become. Grief is a Picture of Dorian Gray. Your smiling face masks the mournful and embittered heart beneath. You fade out, imbued with the sickness of anguish, loss and love combined. It is an unholy thing. A dark thing. And yet it is hidden so well from those who we wish to protect from its devilish influence. A shameful thing. One does not wish others to see the wounds it has inflicted upon us lest they recoil in horror or fright from their ugliness. We are the hunchbacks of our own Notre Dame.
Grief consumes life as a black hole consumes stars, planets and all possible life therein. It eats away at everything good and joyful in life. The hunger is ceaseless and cannot be sated. It eats and eats until there is nought left but bones. Grief is ravenous yet leaves us starving.
Grief is the sickness of the heart and soul. For there is no cure for grief as it is borne of permanent separation. Grief is the longing for what is no longer there and to be satisfied with that which resides in our memory. To reach in is not enough and so we turn outwards only to remember once more what has been lost. And so we turn in again to find a phantom of what was, or what could have been. The dance goes on and finding no comfort or solace in either.
Grief is grasping at air and dreams only for those dreams to turn to dust in your hands long after they have died. And when dreams are dust, our hopes, and our will to wander in this earthbound, nowhere-place of the cruel dichotomy of love and pain, soon follow.
Grief is the Great Destroyer and yet grief is the greatest expression of love for if we do not feel the pain of one lost, we never truly loved them to begin with. It is an emotion of truth for we cannot hide our grief when it descends so readily upon us. We cannot escape it. We can only learn to live with it like an unwelcome guest. It cannot be cured or eliminated for, if we eliminate the pain of loss, even to some small degree, we eliminate our ability to love truly and genuinely.
We may learn to accept things as they are and the pain may lessen in time, but it is still there, forever taken root in our souls. We may never love again for such genuine, deep-seated feelings for those closest to us creates such a behemoth of grief inside us when they are no longer here, there is simply no room for another. For some, it feels like a betrayal when others suggest the void left by one lost can be filled with another. Love transcends separation and loss. Others may find space in their hearts to love once again. For others, the one lost is simply irreplaceable.
Yours Under the Boughs of Yew and Elder