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Tag Archives: Dying

grieving heart

I found myself being silly, making a joke, a suffused bubble of light inside of me as I laughed. Then I felt guilty. That is how I know that I am still mourning mightily.

For anyone who is mourning and grieving, laughter and joy are still tightly intertwined with guilt and sadness. Our emotions are twisted like the ribbons of a thousand balloons.

We want to be happy, and laugh, we really do. But, a piece of our heart is missing and sometimes it affects our breathing, making it impossible to do so. Part of the oft repeated refrain is that our loved ones would want us to be happy. Yes, in a rational world, that has not been turned upside down with grief, that makes sense. However, there is nothing rational about grief.

It has no time limit. It does not travel in a straight path. It meanders, going up and down, peeking behind dark corners, causing an anxiety attack when and where you least expect it. Grief is a Rebel.

It colors everything we say or do, or how the world looks to us in our gray tinted lenses. Visions appear and then tears blot them into lost Monet paintings, colors running downward, and away, from us. Grief is an Artist.

You play all the right music and watch all the right movies. You seek out comedy and avoid terrible news stories. You try to think about something else or focus on someone else. Then you have a trigger… Today, someone told me about their sister-in-law’s passing at the age of 47. She left behind 11 orphaned children. Instantly, I was sucked back into the vision and heartache of children and grandchildren growing up without the rare and brilliant love of a mother. Grief is a vacuum.

You plan happy occasions and pick out special gifts or foods. Decorations are carefully planned and stockings are hung with care. Suddenly, you realize that it is all gone; nothing is really there, it is but an elaborate illusion. With a wave of a hand and a toss of the head, it all vanishes into thin air. We are stricken tiny and mute. Nothing is really as it seems. Grief is a magician.

A year ago, everything was the last. Each holiday, each photograph, each family occasion was the last. This year, everything is the first; the first of many without. With everything it has taken away, Grief has only given me one thing: the painful depth and true understanding of another’s endless mourning.

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