Hello Grief. Why have you come to visit me so soon?
I am doing well and quite honestly, I have not missed you at all. So why are you here and why today? I was having a great day.
Life is good. I am so busy with the kids, my job, travel, friends and oh, I must not forget trying to find the time to write and make all of my dreams come true.
In truth, I have barely thought of you at all. Yet here you are knocking on the door and trying to force your way back into my world. It is rude.
Damn it! I don’t need you and I certainly don’t want you showing up like this unannounced.
Your timing sucks and it is inconvenient. I don’t have time to entertain you and I don’t want to. I have things to do, people to see, fun to have and a life to live. There is no room for you.
Closing my eyes and wishing you away doesn’t help. I open them and you are still here embedded deeply into my mind and my heart taking up space. Ugh. Why can’t you just leave me alone.
What could you possibly tell me that I don’t already know? I have heard it all before and god knows I have felt the sadness and the pain. The struggle is real. It almost seems like you enjoy seeing me fall and stumbling around lost and all alone.
Do you? Come clean. You owe me that much. We have been partners for a long time. You have moved right in and wanted or not, you have made yourself a part of my home. Frankly, you have taken over my life at times and made it really difficult to focus or function at all.
We have walked through the valley of grief together so many times and through so many losses over the years that I have lost count of the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years we have known each other. After all this time and so much loss, I would think you could cut the ties that bind us and move on. Don’t you have something else to do? It would seem that after all we have shared you would trust me to handle things on my own. I don’t need you anymore. Period.
But no. You are bothering me again and I don’t want to see you at all. Grief, you stir up tough emotions and those things I don’t want to feel. Sadness. Guilt. Blame. Regret. Chaos. Pain. Anger. Fear. Loneliness. Despair. It is like there is a bottomless pit that I fall into when you visit and at times I feel as if I will never get out.
Please go away. I work so hard to ignore you and to stuff you deep down inside. People don’t understand and I don’t want them to know I am hanging out with you yet again. Sadly, society is so uncomfortable around you and, believe it or not, sometimes I feel judged and misunderstood when you visit. Friends and family that love and care about me, don’t understand why I continue to hang out with you after all this time. It is embarrassing. I feel weak and like one big ugly mess when you are here.
Honestly, I have read and been told repeatedly that you are not supposed to be here for too long. I am supposed to grieve quickly and quietly and then move on with my life. If I stay busy enough or do things to distract me, I will feel better and forget all about you. Right?
It is hard to keep my broken heart a secret when you visit and I am trying to understand why you feel the need to keep visiting me and turning my life upside down. I don’t want anyone to know.
I am fine. Can you please just go?
Hello Michele. It is so good to see you again. I have missed you.
Please forgive me for showing up and without an invitation. I am sure I surprised you and well, I know you don’t like when I arrive without warning and unannounced.
Quite honestly, I do not visit to cause you pain and I certainly don’t want to see you sad. I come because I care and because you need me.
It is impossible to move on with your life or to find a renewed sense of peace and joy if you don’t spend time with me. At least for a while. I know you try to stay busy and avoid me but I am here to remind you that distraction and vices are temporary bandaids. Without spending time with me, the pain will return.
I get it. Hanging out with me hurts but it is through me that you can face the tough stuff and eventually heal your broken heart and feel happiness again. Will your life be the same? No and it is not supposed to be. How can it be when you lose something or someone that you love. Loss changes people and it changes life as you know it. But, different does not mean it has to be miserable.
Sadly, it is when you ignore me and try to hide from me that you stay stuck in life and cannot rebuild from all that you have lost.
There is no time stamp on how much time you can spend with me. That is up to you. Our relationship is personal. Will people feel uncomfortable around you when I am visiting or hanging around? Yes but don’t listen to the myths or what others say and think. The only thing that matters is how you feel and what you need. How long you choose to hang out with me and in what way is completely up to you and only you.
In truth, I try to stay away and I try to respect when you hide from me or ignore me. I really do. But in the end, I know how much you need me and whether you realize it or not, I am here to help. I know how amazing and strong you are but you still need me to walk this journey with you. With that being said, we ALL need help sometimes and if spending time with me alone is not enough, please find the courage to ask for it. There is help out there.
I am here to remind you of just how hard you loved. I wouldn’t be here if you did not deeply love and care about the person you lost. Think of it as a testament to how much someone really mattered to you and your life. It is my job to help you hold the memories close and to keep those memories alive.
A broken heart needs to hurt and it is through pain that it is doing its job. It is healing and I am here to help that process move along.
Lastly, it is my way of reminding you of what matters the most. Appreciate all that you have and live each day as if it were your last. Loss and the pain that comes with it is here to remind you of how short and fragile life is and to not take the people you love for granted. Life is meant to live and it is, in part, my job to hold your hand through the troubled waters and help you to swim to the other side.
Perhaps you believe that I am here to hurt you and that I am your enemy. Honestly, that could not be further from the truth. Loss happens with or without me but I keep showing up because I love you and I want you to heal and be okay. I am trying to be your friend through good times and the bad and won’t abandon you when you need me the most.
I know what you are thinking. You don’t want to need me but unfortunately everyone needs grief after loss.
So as much as you hate that I have dropped by please don’t be mad. Over time, I will not visit as often but when you truly need me I will be close by.
You deserve to live a happy and fulfilled life and I want nothing but the best for you. Life can be good and you can be happy and content but unfortunately, there will be days when the emptiness returns and the smallest thing can trigger the memories and pain. It can be a song, a smell, a movie, a day, a word, a firework in the sky, a person or a holiday. Regardless of the reason I promise that I will come running and walk by your side. Always.
Thanks for letting me hang out with you from time to time –