Today my grief is a 200 lb python, wound lovingly around my torso, slowly and surely squeezing the breath out of me.
Today my grief is the crumbling walls of a white room, and the vast blank darkness beyond.
Today my grief is a stopped heart, and the tripping beats it makes to catch up.
Today my grief is aching arms, and tears that won’t fall, and eyes that can’t open without seeing betrayal.
People will soon stop asking me how I’m doing. My grief is nearing that expiration date on compassion, when concern slowly morphs into impatience, then disgust. But my grief still exists. It still greets me upon waking, it still waits for me in the quiet places and dark spaces. My grief doesn’t care how disgusted I am with it.
My grief doesn’t put on the same suit every day, or even every hour. It wears python skin, white paint, anxiety, crying. It shows up dressed in a sunny day and desperation. It lays atop the surface tension of a glass of wine, chased down my throat by the sharp tartness of escape. It comes costumed or bare, disguised or honest, but it comes, regardless.
Today is grief. Every damn day is grief.
This roiling gut, these sleepless eyes. The tears just there, in the back of my throat that refuse to surface. Weightless, nerveless fingers.
Why is this my new normal? Why do I have to live with a tangled mess of nerve endings that don’t know up from down?
I read somewhere that the stomach has enough neurotransmitters to function as a brain if it wasn’t so busy processing food. I don’t eat anymore, which explains a lot of the problem.
I’m not tired. I wish I was tired. I wish I felt like if I could just get enough sleep, I’d rise like a fairy tale princess to a castle full of happy people. Instead, I’m stuck in the nightmare, shaking.
A glance. It’s a small thing in real time. A moment – or a second. A split second sometimes.
We almost don’t notice it until after it’s done.
Why, then, does it have to be like an iceberg on the surface of our emotions? Just a small look, a small second – but beneath the look is everything.
When you love someone enough, a glance is all it takes to set the world right side up. To make your heart expand, to put wings on your soul. A glance, and they are the most beautiful creature you’ve ever set eyes on.
When that love is gone – what becomes of the glance? Of the wings? Of the soul?
I don’t know if I’m more afraid that no one will ever look at me like that again…
…or that I won’t look at anyone else that way again.
Such a small thing to lose. You almost don’t notice it until after it’s gone.