Grief is: anticipatory anxiety.
A burning wick.
A slow fade.
A ticking clock.
“How bad is this one going to hurt?” you ask yourself.
Will it come in fits and starts?
Will it suck me into its’ undertow until my lungs burn?
Will it catch me off guard, a blow that doubles me in half?
Will it become a day I’ll never forget, dirt in my teeth, under my nails, from a freshly dug grave?
Will I get lucky and feel it slip through me Iike a shade, quick and cold?
Each #griefaversary has its’ own personality, it’s own timeline and its’ own intensity.
Micah’s 37th birthday is this week. The third one we’ll celebrate without him. My stomach tightens and turns. My thoughts flip forward, unbidden, to the pain that will surely come. How harsh and how long, I don’t know. But come it will.
Horribly fickle. Viciously mysterious. Grief will come when it wants. Overstay its’ welcome and leave at its’ leisure.
In a funny twist of fate, the only thing worse than the pain of grief is the dread that proceeds it. Dread= fear of the unknown future. I’m dreading Micah’s chocolate cake without him to blow out the candles. I’m dreading how August turns to fall, fall turns to Christmas and Christmas is book ended by Micah’s #eow. 2/5/2018. A dreadful procession.
Dread looks like King Theoden surveying the battle of Helms Deep. “So it begins.”
But!!! I’ve learned a trick or two over these past three years. One is that Dread is an overconfident braggart. Menacing, intense, intimidating. He always over promises and under delivers. The pain, however terrible, is always less than what dread said it would be.
So, friends, join me in hope. Cry your tears, scream your epithets, stare blankly into your coffee. But know that pain cannot stay forever. The sun will rise again. Your breath will slow, your heart will calm. And when the dust settles, once again you have survived. The pain didn’t kill you. You thought it might. But you survived. Rising from the ashes again. Each time. Every time.