On Grief.

Grief is misunderstood.
It doesn’t fit into six stages.
Grief is messy.

Grief is tears.
Tears you didn’t know you had.
Tears for the moments you regret.
Tears for the ones you can’t quite remember.
Tears for the ones you’ll never have again.
Grief is getting used to red eyes.
No makeup.

Grief is a difficult car ride.
A road trip.
Grief is El Paso.
Grief is Ringgold, Georgia.
Grief is ICU.
A hospital cafeteria.

It’s saying you’re okay.
When you’re on the verge of losing it.
It’s saying, “My dad died”.
When you need someone to understand.
It’s coping with saying, “My dad died”
Without a quivering lip.

Grief is one giant excuse for insomnia.
Panic attacks.
Nightmares.
Grief is going for days without eating.
When nothing sounds good.
And then driving to every Chinese place in North Austin.
Searching for egg drop soup with yellow broth.
Grief is wanting a glass of wine.
But knowing you can’t handle a single drop of depressants.

Grief is two boxes he left.
That hid in a closet for most of a year.
Grief is a blank journal.
A red stapler.
Grief is ticket stubs from a lifetime of Cincinnati Reds games.
Grief is a men’s LSU hoodie that’s two sizes too big.
That you can’t stop wearing.
Grief is wishing it still smelled like him.

Grief is a stuffed llama.
It’s giving yourself permission.
To buy a stuffed llama.
When you’re too old.
But it’s the only thing worth smiling for.
Grief is snuggling with a stuffed llama.
Grief is Laverne… the llama.

Grief is a game of chess.
On the Lower East Side.
Grief is a bucket list.
A last-minute plane ride.
It’s deep-sea fishing.
It’s coins tossed into the ocean.
Grief is traveling the world.
To figure out that you can’t escape.
This kind of loss.

Grief is Googling.
Cancer.
Brain tumor.
Grief is paranoia.

Grief is spiritual.
Grief is questioning.
Grief is wishing he’s on the other side.
That he’s here, too.
It’s wishing that he’s not disappointed.

Grief is a blog post.
Wandering eyes.
Clinched teeth.
Grief is searching for closure.
And telling yourself that he loved you.
That he said he loved you.
That his last words were I love you.

When they were really
…unclear.

Grief is learning not to hate yourself.
Grief is questions that will never be answered.
It’s learning to let go.
Grief is forgiveness.

Grief is a new normal.
Grief is learning your lesson.
Laughing at the good times.
Donuts.
Candy.
Grief is Napoleon Dynamite.

Grief is loving differently.
Grief is gratefulness.
Grief is necessary.

Grief is a coming to terms.
The human experience.
We live, love, and lose.
Grief is yoga.

Grief is a photo album.
Grief is learning to live your own way.
While still remembering theirs.
Grief is uncontrollable,
Undeniable
Grief is temporary,
Yet ever-changing.

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