On Grief


Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go. -Jamie Anderson

Pity parties, I throw great ones! I invite guests, fill the vase to water the blame and leave space for ‘why me.’ It may be, or may not be, a healthy part of the grieving process, but all I know is I can’t seem to let go of this pain and I surely can’t seem to push all of it out of me as fast as I expected.

I believe that it has to pass through on its own time. Loss can’t be cut up and drowned with only positive, wishful thinking, not if I want to keep it away long term at least.

So if I have to wait for this to pass, then I must learn to do something with it in the mean time- Something good, something that makes this all worth it.

Some of us, I’ve found, are carrying wounds that may not always be on our foreheads. They can be on our heels and they make our only option falling to our knees. I am on my knees, I’ve been there for the past 2 months, but it has allowed me to be eye level with others that are hurting. My cheerful, normal self would be too busy staring at foreheads to really recognize what I do now.

I can’t tell my body when it’s done grieving, I’ve tried that, but I can ask my body to use this grief for the benefit of others now that I can freely see it. That I can do.

I am not so empty that I have nothing to give. In fact, the problem is that I have too much to give, and I can’t keep spending it all on the building of salty tears and hopes for things that I know I should no longer hope for. I’ll allow that its portion, but I’ll also give my grief some room to serve, and to be a bit gentler to those around me.


Art Courtesy of Beth Hoeckel 


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