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July 21, 2019

The weight of grief.

Grief is a heavy weight. 

 

We all carry grief differently, but there is no escaping its weight. 

 

My image of grief is a big, heavy rock – too heavy to carry. I have tried to ignore it, but it follows me – sneaking up behind me when I least expect it. 

 

I have tried to cover it up, like you might put a blanket over a pile of laundry you don’t want your mother to see. But, it’s still there when I move the blanket. 

 

I have watched people I love pretend that their grief isn’t real – making it into the punchline for an uncomfortably unfunny joke. For all of their pretending, that rock doesn’t disappear – it becomes the foundation for all of the other lies they tell themselves and others. 

 

I have sat with my grief – hoping it will get smaller. 

 

I have brought my grief with me to work – bad idea. 

 

I have tried to rationalize with my grief – tried to convince it to just let me go back to life before its constant companionship – to no avail. 

 

Some people never figure out how to carry the weight of their grief and they are crushed beneath it. I don’t want that to be me. 

 

I think about boxes and bags and all the ways we carry things. 

 

I think about science – levers and fulcrums and ways to move the heaviest of heavy things. 

 

I think about my kids carrying their books in backpacks stuffed full of heavy books. 

 

The only way to carry grief is to feel it – to struggle with it until it starts to break apart and can be carried with you in a special knapsack that will hold all of the pieces. 

 

Someday I will open the knapsack. I will see the pieces and think about how far I have traveled with that extra weight. Someday I will make something beautiful out of those pieces – something that is meaningful and helps other people as they grapple with the weight of their grief. 

 

But, for today, I will put my knapsack on – full of my questions and my struggles and the weight of my grief. And I will move forward slowly. 

 

One step at a time.

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