Hello, my old friend Grief. You used to sneak up on me, back in the day. I wanted you to go away. You held me like a gangster with a gun. I let you guide me into the darkness, even threaten my life.
That was long ago. This time, death didn’t take my family, but the love of my life—not the one love, but the man and relationship that epitomized all the lessons I learned and all the joys I deserved. It was that for him, too. Then, Death came.
You, Grief, come swaggering behind like the sassy little sister with a permission slip. I know your game—the game that’s rigged so I can’t win. Grief is a game with no rules, no seasons, no play book.
I don’t need one. I’ve been in the ring with you. I used to attempt escape, to avoid your blows.
The smack down was inevitable. Maybe you didn’t plan on me getting up? Twice. Then, supporting my sis going rounds with you. You thought you’d take her down? Turns out, she’s a champion and a warrior and you look silly taunting her.
So, now Death delivers a blow to my beloved, sneaks up on him in the dark of the night? Grief, you’re like the toxic relative who always shows up at the party and gets wasted. Or the ex who keeps forgetting we broke up.
I get you. I recognize you. You no longer scare me. Are you bigger than me? Can you hurt me? Absolutely.
But, you won’t kill me. I didn’t know that in the early days. I do now. Now, I stand up and say Death might’ve taken my man, but the love he gave me? It’s staying. You can stick around all you want and I know you will. One day in the future, though, you’ll go away and all that will be left is Love.
Right now my pain is raw and you, Grief feel righteous. I say ok to that feeling. And the tears, sadness, and the ache in my belly scrunched up to the lack of hunger, accompanied by the sudden loss of memory.
Oh, God, what was I saying? Oh, yeah. God’s got this, along with 1,000 angels.
Welcome, Grief, my old friend. Make yourself at home, but don’t settle in.