Grief is like jumping in an ocean that goes dry the minute your toes hit the surface and you go tumbling down to rock bottom in pieces before the waves come crushing in on top of you. Death is slow and lingering, and every feeling contradicts the other. The reality is you feel everything.
So you feel nothing too.
Here are 7 things that grief awakens in a griever. It takes years before the griever realises they exist. They will exist and will never cease to exist for as long as you exist, because that is the depth to which grief can touch a soul.
1. Painful Awareness.
Once you see death, you see everything, especially the fact that sometimes we quarrel for stupid things and miss the important moments in life over ignorance. Oh, ignorance. We disown it the day grief visits us because we realise we no longer can be ignorant. As hard as it sounds, grief brings wisdom that sometimes no other messenger can deliver.
2. Animal Instincts.
We see clearer. We smell, hear and even speak clearer. Your own voice will sound foreign to you, like you are hearing it for the first time. It’s like someone wiped the steamy and fogged bathroom mirror and you see yourself bare, only in this instance it’s after a storm and not a shower.
No, not the I failed an exam sadness or He doesn’t love me anymore sadness. It’s sadness from another era, like you just walked home after you had to kill your own wounded son in war to prevent him suffering at the hands of the enemy. Like you witnessed the live skinning of a baby goat. Like you just saw a mother drown herself and her child because they were both disowned for being female and had no home anymore. It’s sadness that has no cure, no shore, lost at sea, the only haven being the sadness itself.
You feel hate in the beginning, it’s unavoidable. It’s understandable. But then, after a while, it is replaced by the heavy compassion that fills your soul. You can now feel what millions of other people feel every day. You had been visited by death and that had empowered you with a terrible understanding of the lives of the grievers. You know. You know now. The pain, screams and misery. The way it’s sometimes hard to even breathe. You understand it all now.
You feel immortal. The expression is strange but it’s exactly that: You feel your heart enlarge and you feel you could die any day, so today has to be the day. Today you will marry that girl you love, start that album or publish that book. It has to be today because tomorrow isn’t here. You realise you have the power to own this moment, and become immortal in memory.
You may have thought you had vision before. That vision was cloudy. Grief has given you clarity. The universe opens its wings and soars; all you can see of yourself is nothing. You are a speck in history, that is not even visible. Compared to people and places and the pain of the past, you are an embryo. Your journey hasn’t even started and you are now freed of the rose-coloured glasses you had clutched onto for so long. You can now see, when you had only been looking before.
t can be a photo, a pen or it can be a poem. It can even be the shows you watch on television. The type and taste of things that lure you changes. Whether you change them or they change you, we can have that debate later. Your soul craves expression, your heart demands it, and you provide. You provide and in that motion of expressing your pain, you start on your path to healing.
May you find the healing that your heart is looking for.