The Dissection of Grief

It laps up against you in waves. At the beginning, the tide is so strong, you fear you'll lose your footing and be carried away. Then, slowly, you feel the waves begin to break against rocks before reaching you, licking your ankles, and receding, a temperate reminder of the absence of land. It encumbers you, clings to you like wet clothes, weighing you down, or like cobwebs that you keep stripping from your hair, from your eyelashes, from your fingertips, trying to reach back, back, back, to make amends, if only, if only, if only. You think of it proportionally. You try to appropriate it. You try to contain it. More than anything, you try to comprehend it, but understanding eludes you. Your thoughts are carried into small whirlpools of confusion by strong downdrafts, away, away, away. 

Sometimes you forget. Especially in the morning, or when you are occupied by the all-consuming job of simply living day to day to day. Remembrance spreads slowly through you, from the center outwards, like an ice cube melting, shrinking and expanding at the same time, creating a rivulet on a previously dry surface. 

It doesn't ever disappear. It mellows and swells, swells and mellows, and you begin to have a strange respect for it, an appreciation, because it is bigger than you, the person experiencing it, and it holds so much of the person you are mourning, the one who is gone, and yet continues to exist in this small bubble of your grief. 

Photo by Rebecca McCue