Grief does not look like this

Just because I don’t know how else to tell you that I am here for you…

**

‘Stop asking if I am fine… please stop!’ I say calmly, trying my possible best not to scream my lungs out. I am just tired of people asking if I am fine. What’s the point of asking anyway. If I say I’m fine or I’m not fine, what can they do for me. I don’t really know. So, everyone needs to stop asking if I’m fine.

I look at my friend and I start speaking as if something else is controlling me. I am not crying. I am not gasping for air. I am just looking into her eyes and speaking…

‘Pain is unpredictable. You think you can predict it and prepare yourself against it because you have gone through it before. But when it happens again, it’s like it had never happened before.  Suddenly, you are like a baby trying to walk. It doesn’t matter that you already know how to walk and that you infact have. You have walked many miles before. But it comes, and you have to learn to navigate through the pain and come out even if you are scared. You just have to come out because you know your chances reduce the longer you stay in.’

My friend’s eyes are glistened with tears. I can see she is trying hard not to let those tears fall. I smile at her, not the fake smile that I paste on my face in order to be polite to the many people that have said consoling words to me. ‘It’s not that I’m fine,’ I say. ‘I’m only trying to keep my head above the water. I’m trying to be fine because I know I must keep living. I need a reason to and If I stay buried in my grief, I won’t see a reason to.’ I take a deep breath and look away.

‘I will be pulled into a world of darkness, a world of piercing pain. A world of asking questions that would never be answered… not now anyway. So, if acting like everything is normal helps me to keep putting one foot in front of the other, then I better take the best option in front of me. Fake it till you make it right?’

‘Yeah’. My friend responds some minutes later. She clears her throat as if she had just found her voice. She sits up and looks away, it is obvious she is being pulled into another world; A world she has tried to get out of.

‘I have lost someone dear to me and so, I have a good understanding of what you mean. But I can’t really say I know how you are feeling. I can have an idea, but I can’t really know. My loss was mine, just as your loss is yours. So, your experience is yours and yours alone. I can’t tell you how to grief and I won’t. But I can tell you something from my experience.’

She sighs and comes out of that world. She holds my hand and squeezes it, as if trying to pass strength down to me.  ‘At some point, the moments you shared might fade away and…’ she chokes on her words. She shakes her head and breathes out loud.

‘At some point, the moments shared might fade away and you might be sad. You might feel guilty for not having every moment spent with the one you loved, or should I say love etched in your memory. But don’t.’

‘We have different ways of grieving. Our brain is funny. It protects us when it feels remembering might break us and it might make us not want to keep living. But there will be days when you will just laugh. Times when you will remember a joke he said or a word of encouragement he said to you. You will remember and know a part of him remains with you. A part that will come as gifts when your brain knows you can handle it. It’s not that you were never strong. The pain was just unbearable. But the pain will reduce, even if it never goes away fully.’

She smiles at me, it’s a peaceful smile. A smile that says this is where I am right now. I have been where you are, but months have gone by and I am somewhere else now.

‘At some point, you will say you are fine and truly mean it. You won’t be trying to be fine or thinking you are fine when you really aren’t. You will truly be fine because this too shall pass. But until then, grief anyway you want to. Even if others tell you that is not how grief looks. I will be here to talk to you about the weather or a book I can’t put down. I will be here to talk to you about anything you want to talk about.’ She wipes the stubborn tear slowly moving down my face and holds my second hand. She has just helped me to really accept the tune life has played for me.

‘So, tell me about Small Great Things. I Heard Jodi Picoult out did herself.’ I say to her. She lights up and starts talking.

**

P;S: Hi guys. Thanks for reading. I hope you have been good. I apologise for not being a consistent blogger and for the next couple of weeks, I won’t be posting every Monday. Stay safe loves!

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1 Comment
  • Oyindamola
    April 10, 2017

    This is truly so beautiful and accurate. A message people really need to know. Our losses are our pain and we carry it whichever way we wish to and their words can’t take away the pain. It’s something we deal with ourselves

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