Um, if you can, would you please write something about an overwhelming grief? The sort of thing where you can’t even cry because it’s too big to deal with? I’d really appreciate anything you could do for that subject.

Grief is a very personal thing, my friend.
There are layers to it,
levels,
variations in how deeply,
how long a loss will pain you.

I’ve had the sharp,
distracting pain of a sudden
but expected loss.
A paper cut,
skinned knees,
the side effects of
living
loving
losing.

And the screeching,
all-encompassing loss:
car crashes
and broken glass,
bones,
shards through skin,
muscle,
sinew.
Scars even afterwards,
aching in the cold.

Grief draws closer,
intimate,
visceral,
breath stealing,
heart stopping,
organs shutting down.

I will not ask how you are, my friend,
only if I may help you survive.

///

She doesn’t cry often, but she does do so easily, deliberately, spending tears like shiny coins in a gum ball machine. Better to release them when she chooses than to hoard them, hold them off, keep them at bay until the dam breaks. She feels her tears oncoming like the tide, the salty air and the change in pressure, ozone sparkling behind her eyelids. When that happens, she doesn’t batten down the hatches, she redirects them and channels them–tearjerking music with nostalgic, haunting melodies, fictional lovers with doomed relationships–emotional irrigation for the fruit trees in her heart.

And so when the time comes…
when the time goes…
her eyes remain startlingly dry.

///

“You’re allowed to cry, you know?” someone says, and you grunt in response.

Of course you know you’re allowed to cry; how irritating. You don’t need someone’s permission to cry.

You just aren’t. Haven’t.

Won’t.

Not for a while. Not for a long while.

Maybe not ever.

You feel hollowed out, as if your brain has shut off higher functions, higher feelings. You’ve been slouching from day to day, no momentum to propel you forward.

You’ll restart, soon, living instead of just subsiding, but you might not be the same.

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