When grief comes to your door, you have to let him in. You can’t pretend you didn’t hear the doorbell or his forceful knocks. You can’t say come back later, try again another day. Or month. Or year.
See, you must open the door and invite him into your home, your safe place. It is here that you will realize his visit is more than a weekend getaway or an overnight trip. It is in your home that he will now reside, a permanent resident, a tenant taking up the space inside your mind.
He will fill up the room, as he pushes himself into the air that you breathe. You will smell him, taste him, hear him, touch him. You will feel him. You will see him next to you in every move you make. He will make his presence known, his company will be obvious.
At this point, in order to make this stay more accommodating for your new guest, the necessary adjustments must be made. Will you let him make himself at home? Will you fluff his pillow each night? Fix his coffee each dawn? At night, when you’re cuddled close to a loved one or to no one, will you let him come near? Will you pull him in and hold him close? As you sleep, as you dream, how many of your hours are shared next to him?
Soon enough, you will learn that each moment he takes of yours surely comes with a cost. For each song that was once a melody will now turn to jarring notes. Each photograph will now become stained with salty tears. The pillows. The sheets. The sleeves of your sweater. The stains will appear once, twice, a dozen times.
What will you get in return? In return for your sleepless nights and cluttered, cloudy days?
When you invite grief inside, you must strike a deal. When he takes from you, he must also give. It must become a balance of love lost and wisdom gained. He must show you the good still left outside your home. He must show you the roads of the world that you have left to travel. He must shine brightness into the moonless sky. He must put back together the broken mirror to show you who you are.
Grief carries much with him, the heavy baggage that he brings. He is made of the lessons, the wisdom, the heartache, and the pain. When grief moves in, he makes no plans to go. He will be there today, tomorrow, forever, and always. You will become the lessons, the wisdoms, the heartache, and the pain. You will become the good, the journey, the light, the reflection looking back at you.
He is a part of you now, so don’t try and slam the door. Because when grief comes knocking, you have to let him in.