This past week I was having a very light hearted conversation with a friend of mine and the topic of grief came up. We talked about therapy and the length of the process. Then I realized that the process is ongoing and doesn’t always end. In fact maybe it never really ends. It will always be a spot we visit. Like a patch of grass under the shade of a tree. It is beautiful and alive but cold and lonely. Sometimes we invite people under the tree with us and other times we close our eyes, put our hands over our ears, and force everyone out. Or maybe that tree is in a park surround by people riding bikes and rollerblading but you are just sitting there watching all the happy go by. And unbeknownst to everyone else you are screaming on the inside.
The thing about grief or grieving is, you eventually get out of the hole. You start to really live because you know what it’s like to see someone ripped away. You live loud and in the brightest of colors. You laugh again. You are joy again. The memories are no longer burdens tied to you like weights. They’re light and airy. They bring you happiness. Here is what they don’t tell you. Every now and then you will be triggered. You’ll inhale a smell, see an image, or have a flashback and suddenly there you are under that tree again. It’s inevitable. The thing to remember is this; you can not stay under the tree. You can not stay down. You can NOT stay down. You don’t get to die under that tree. You don’t get to watch the world go by. You must live because that is why we are here.
So get up. Dust the dirt and grass off your pants. Breathe in that air. Look up to the sky. Wipe the tear. Shake away the anger. And take one step out of the shade. That tree is a place you can visit. But it is not a place you can stay.
Dreamers and Believers