In order to keep my distinct sense of humor, I’ve been reading a lot about grief. Naturally. They often go hand in hand, no?
The best word I have ever heard to describe grief is…wait for it…monolithic. Monolithic. Chew on that for a second.
Grief can show up in many forms. It can be a stealth snake that slithers its way into your garden, practically unnoticed, yet leaves its tracks. Other times, it can act as the rude dinner guest at a party, telling an inappropriate joke. The next day it is an average roommate who pays the bills on time with little surprises. Or an athlete that hits back every lob and backhand until you are forced to accept that they are the better player. Sometimes, grief appears quiet and polite, waiting to get a word in, in the background, wearing black, and disappearing into the crowd.
Rumi, a Persian mythical poet, said: “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” I have found that denying the grief robs us all of the treasures that grief can give you…you can’t have flowering trees without a rainstorm, freedom without the loss of innocent life, joy without knowing intense suffering.
Right in this sentence…this is the most honest I have ever been… when I say I have not accepted my grief and have not let it enter me fully. I downright yelled at my therapist when I told him I was feeling forced, to give B up for good, to give up all that had to do with him, his family and our friends. That I would never let that happen. That I would never feel grief strong enough to warrant such a perverse response. It seemed against my will…against everything I hold true to me to let all of that go. How can I? They are people I love, people I hold dear to me, people who have made me who I am…
Yet, now I’m seeing that it may be the only alternative. How do you get ready to put everyone and everything associated with your grief behind you? While I was waiting for that distinct “ah ha” moment, it didn’t come, surrounded by cherubs and flag-dancing like I was hoping. Instead there is just me and an Ikea couch, at midnight, post-pomegranate margaritas. And I’m no clearer than I was before.
“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole Universe.” Well, Milky Way, here I am.