You will grieve the person you once were, the person who was less heavy with this kind of feeling, the person who didn’t have to know the weight of a goodbye. You will grieve the simplicity of life as it used to be, the oblivious nature of your mind before you knew the pain of loving something death could touch.
You will grieve in a way that will always be there, even when you do not feel it. You will grieve in a way that lingers, in a way that knots itself to you enduringly. You may not always notice it, you may not always stare it straight in the face, but it will be there. It will be there. Grief will meet you wherever you go. Grief will show up in the seconds between breaths, in the grocery store, at the cinema. Grief will show up whenever you look loss in the face, whenever you hold it’s hand, whenever it tells you that it’s scared. Grief will show up in the inventory you take, in the moments you compare, in the characteristics you see fade, in the laugh you slowly forget.
You will grieve the future. You will grieve the memories you thought you would make with them by your side. You will grieve the empty seat at your graduation, the ways in which their voice will never be on the other end of the phone when you need them to calm your heart. You will grieve the moments you know you will need them, the moments where their hand in yours could give you strength, could make things okay in the world. You will grieve your wedding day, and the speech they won’t have the opportunity to tell. You will grieve the way in which you will have to put all of that hope to rest, the way you will have to knot it to a new vision of what the puzzle of your life will look like minus one painfully important piece.
And you will grieve the past. You will grieve the small and nameless moments you took for granted, the quiet nature of a love you assumed you would always get to lean on. You will grieve the concept of time, of the way you let it slip away from you, of the way in which it moves so quickly once you connect with how special it is. You will grieve every day you did not spend diving into the heart of them, all of the ways in which you were too busy, or too cool, or too consumed to notice that lived for you.
But when you are grieving the loss of someone who is still alive, you have to understand that you have been afforded an opportunity that many don’t get. Loss is a horrible and haunting thing, but time is slowing down for you, there is light pinned within its dark; because when you are grieving the loss of someone who is still alive, you have been given the gift of a goodbye. The gift of a few more days. The gift of a few more moments looking into their eyes, holding their hand, smiling at them when they notice you in the room. When you are grieving the loss of someone who is still alive, you have been given the opportunity to blanket them in love, to let them know that you are there, to simply be with them in ways death doesn’t always afford us. So, if you are grieving the loss of someone who is still alive, please, do not make your grief a home, do not let it blind you to your fortune. Instead, turn your grief into your gratitude. Gratitude for even one more moment. Gratitude for even one more day.