Grief has become my dark passenger. It comes in different forms: anger, denial, guilt, and depression. It chooses when to show itself and when to take hold of my mind.
I picture Grief as a specter, dressed in a black garment while a dark mist sits at its feet. The air becomes thin the closer it gets to me. There are moments when I feel my sorrow wailing up inside of me, when I can feel the deepening sadness grow.
At times Griefs sits in my peripherals staring at me, motionless, as if he was analyzing and waiting to exploit a moment of vulnerability.
Other times there are no signs that Grief is present only to reveal itself suddenly like an assassin. I’ve cried spontaneously not knowing what triggered it. The event is random, almost like a sneeze. Even when I’m in the refuge of friends, family, and laughter Grief will suddenly appear and choke me. When this happens I try my best to mask my pain, as if I have an embarrassing affliction and wish to hide it from the world.
I fear sleep now and then. It’s as if I’m entering a haunted house. I will wake up with a fast beating heart, fueled by the burning coals of Grief’s anger. I breath fire and curse Anna’s name. The pain is suffocating at times because I have no emotional regulation. My heart is an midst of a storm, like a sailor struggling against the elements on the open seas.
But surprisingly, Grief has secondary effects that I couldn’t predict. This suffering has awaken a sobering maturity that was lacking.
I begin to cry during beautiful scenes that are nice, compassionate, charming, or when people demonstrate a great deal of grace and forgiveness. Life is tougher than it used to be and those tears are a reminder of what I value and long for… more than ever: compassion, the good, and love.
Because in reality, life is not always like that in the context of life’s ugliness. People will disappoint you. Relationships end almost unexpectedly and without much reason. Finding love, compassion, and forgiveness can feel like an elusive utopia, a dream never to be obtained. That is why when we see a glimpse of that we react, because we are all too often denied those very things.
So in strange way, I guess I can thank Grief for this new found appreciation for the good and grace in people. If you process your grief you will be better for it.
“When you’re not afraid of grief, you will make better choices. And when you make better choices, you will have happier relationships with healthier people.” –Susan J. Elliott