It is a cold winter day. I sit at my wood-stained desk, admired by the delicate white canvas covering the land before me, and I write for the first time in a long time. I hold my imaginings close, for they have been few and far between this last little while, and as I feel heartfelt stories line pages that have long been empty, a silent tear greets me. It is in these moments that I know grief has never left me.
Grief and I are, and have always been, familiar with one another. It has followed me like a ghost ever since I was a young, fragile girl, stumbling my steps as I attempt to revive what little hope lives within me. Sincerely, grief has become a part of me, so much so that those I love now seem to recognize its presence whenever they greet me. They approach it gently, as if not to disturb its nature, and I am reminded of its company as they tip-toe around my heartache. Yet, as much as they reassure me that everything will be okay, grief still never leaves me anyway.
As I reminisce, I do not believe that I was ready for grief when it arrived as I watched my first love become lost. It grew and grew with each soul I adored that found their home in heaven far sooner than my heart was ready for. In a way, grief has become my name. Oftentimes, it is an indelicate reminder of all of my beloved admirations I can no longer find on this side of sweet, sweet time.
Ever-so honestly, true, true love once sat within me where grief now does — every day in my heart, and now on these white-lined pages. I sit with it often, like it is a friend I never imagined I’d have, and I try to grasp its existence or all it is meant to nurture within me. Yet, I have not always found grief comforting. In many ways, grief is an impassioned existence, flooding the purity of my hope so far away that it becomes incredibly endless to mask.
I first knew this to be true when it overwhelmed me so immensely that I succumbed to the cold, bare floor, stripping all of the air from my lungs. Too many times, I recall the breathless cries that filled the empty silence of a life forever changed. Grief has sickened me, angered me, and isolated me. It has emptied me of faith and replaced it with fear. Grief, in every sense, has amended me wholeheartedly, so much so that I am unsure of how to walk through each day without holding its hand.
And yet, even through the heartache, grief has also welcomed me with open arms. Today, now more than ever, I truly believe that it is the natural process of lost love — of admiration that now only lives in the sweet heavenly wind where memories of immensely gentle, humble, and precious times live evermore. Grief is the only thing I can still cherish that will forever carry pieces of those I love, especially those that now call heaven their home. If I didn’t grieve, I never would have loved — and to love is the greatest joy we could ever hold.