What Is Grief?

Grief is a monster. It rips and roars. It has a thousand eyes and eight kinds of fur. It’s furious and it bursts into your home. Grief rapes and pillages, it spends you, but it never leaves you alone.

Grief is an embezzler, green-shaded and officious, sapping you from a back room where he carries on vital aspects of your business. You’re not sure exactly what he does but everyone seems to trust him. The first day he doesn’t show up you find you’re hollow.

Grief is a saboteur, a pickpocket, a bastard. A hurricane, an elevator shaft, a muddy puddle, a pie in the face. Grief stains you, breaks you, kicks you when you’re down. Grief surprises you and changes constantly.

But we often forget that early on, Grief is also a companion. Grief is true, constant, honest. It won’t run if you stare or yell. Grief is always up for a conversation or a really juicy fight. Heck, Grief even shares jokes, some of which must be kept just between you two.

Grief is your intimate, your confidante, your own.

It takes, but it gives back, too. It plays Good Cop, Bad Cop. You have no defense.

You think maybe Grief protects you from worse things. It’s hard to say.

Grief feeds you and slakes your thirst. It embraces you when no one else will. It will never leave you alone. It helps you feel special and keeps you apart when, sometimes, you need to be distant from the rest of the world.

Grief can be an object. It’s easy to blame Grief, and satisfying to beat the shit out of it.

It will step back a bit over time, and you two will grow apart. It never looks the same the same two days in a row. Like you, it learns.

But gradually your life will recruit new characters and more feelings. When you are busy with them, Grief begins to starve. You gain strength.

Grief is not the thing that hurt you, it's made out of you, so it will always be there for you when you need it.

* * * Comments * * *


Alicia said...

Very well done!

Grief can become the comfortable companion, safe because we know what it is, what it looks like, what it feels like. Stepping beyond the boundaries of grief can take a huge leap of faith ... in ourselves, in the Universe, in the future.

Thanks for this navel-gazing post.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Thank you, Alicia! I never know how these things will go over, any of them, actually. It's reassuring to know that as nutty as I am, sometimes I hit on something that resonates.

Boo said...

excellently put. This really got through my widow-brain.

Boo x

Dan said...

Grief is definitely my constant companion. Grief entered my life September 13, 2009. I am a gay widower, trying to make sense of it all. I too have join the many voices who are blogging about their journey with grief. I have recognized that grief came out of love. I'm not always sure if I have it, or it has me.

Suzann said...

OMG - yes, yes, yes ---- "it is made of us" Thank you for an amazing post. You are the best!!

Split-Second Single Father said...

You've done it once again Supa! Thanks for putting in to words what so many of us are feeling/hating/embracing/avoiding/fearing every day.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I'm so, so sorry that you've been admitted to the Club No One Wants to Join. As you've seen already, there are many of us out here, which at least makes it less lonely. You'll find I often proselytize about finding real-life support as well and I look forward to learning more about you and helping in any meager way that I can. Know that others are here, and that we've lived to tell the tales, though we'd never wish it on anyone.
In the meantime, please take this virtual {{HUG}}!

Boo, Suzann, S3F:
Thank you all so kindly. As you know, this is hard work and I appreciate so much your kind words.

And a HUG to all my friends online! I'm so grateful to have found you.


annie said...

Grief comes from the initial sadness, loss, and fear, but it can't do anything to you without your help b/c it's yours. It comes from the inside not the outside. You control it. Or not.

As Alicia points out - it's comfortable and safe, which is what really makes it dangerous.

It's also fairly short-lived in most people. The ;oneliness and pining for the lost one, and the re-ordering of life isn't grief - it's what people experience/do when someone they love leaves them - regardless.

I don't buy grief as a life long disorder or an Alice in Wonderland nightmare reality we never leave behind us. It hurts. It's not fun putting a life back in order, but it's no more monster than a dozen over tragic turns life can take. It didn't make me over or change who I am anymore than simply living and growing older would have done. I am more than the sum of a dead husband.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Annie, Don't we pretty much agree?
I think the longer term issues are about adjustments... which I think we all underestimate, and which aren't talked about. I do think ppl mistake these for "grief," but I think it hardly matters what they THINK it is, if it's affecting them.
As for whether we're forever changed... "special" ... it's a question of marketing, framing, not something that can be "true or false."
Yes, entitlement often goes too far. Yes, there are negative aspects.
I really want to hear what you think of Konigsberg. But not today! :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...